Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in August


Even though Charlotte’s restaurant selection continues to grow, so does our population, and some restaurants are taking advantage of this growing customer base by letting their health standards slide.

Some of the most common reasons for low scores were food handlers not washing their hands properly, contaminated food containers, and improper food temperatures (many restaurants are starting to use infrared thermometers to avoid this). You can see exactly what the inspectors look for on this blank copy of an inspection report.

These are the top 10 worst currently standing inspection scores in Mecklenburg County (some restaurants scored lower in August but were reinspected with higher scores before September 6th):

#10 Leroy Fox

Scored 89 (B) on 8/23/2018

Rescored to 93 (A) on 9/4/2018 with the following critical violations;

  • Observed unopened water bottles being stored on shelving far right corner.
  • Observed food employee dumping at hand sink.
  • Observed paper towels empty at bar sink and far left sink in kitchen.
  • Observed several utensils, tongs, pans, baking skillets,ramekins and slicer being stored clean with food debris on it.
  • Observed mac and cheese that was prepared yesterday still above 45 degrees.
  • Observed lettuce prepared yesterday still holding above 45 degrees.
  • Observed house-made pickles dated for 8/22.
  • Observed beets dated for 8/31 holding above 41 degrees.
  • Observed milk without date marked.
  • Observed mozzarella without date marking.
  • Observed product made today being date marked for 9/5 and product prepared on 9/3 dated for 8/3.

#9 Carmella’s Pizza

Scored 91.5 (B) on 8/2/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food employee McDonald’s ice cream stored freezer above establishment food.
  • Observed one box of unwashed tomatoes stored above ready to eat foods such as cheese, salads and deli sauces.
  • Observed solution for sanitizing step of cleaning with concentration less than 10ppm chlorine.
  • Observed a container of feta cheese in walk in cooler with date 7/24.

#8 PNC Music Pavilion

Scored 88 (B) on 8/8/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed several risk factor violations during food prep.
  • Observed no soap @ sink- dead batteries in automated dispenser.
  • Observed raw burger on bread boxes in walkin.
  • Observed chicken tenders & hot dogs thawing in ambient temp.

#7 Zoes Kitchen

Scored 87.5 (B) on 8/31/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food employee used glove hands to sweep floor and then proceed to donned new gloves prior to food prepping without hand washing in between.
  • One of the hand washing sinks were missing hand soap. Ensure that hand washing soap is available at all hand sinks.
  • Observed food employees with gloved hands changing task without switching gloves and washing hands in between.
  • Foods on top of the oven were unable to properly hot hold due to not being in direct contact with heat’ s surface.
  • Tomatoes, slaw, cut melons, pasta salad feta cheese and cooked onions were cold holding above 45 degrees.

#6 Golden Bakery

Scored 87 (B) on 8/7/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager onsite.
  • Observed employee handling the phone, and then begin to put on gloves without washing hands afterwards.
  • Observed no soap at the hand sink next to the 3-compartment sink.
  • Observed the sanitizer bucket being stored in the hand wash sink.
  • Observed food buildup on a strainer, two lids, and a pot.
  • Observed no date marking on the pizza, babaganoush, hummus, spinach pies.

#5 Zada Jane’s

Scored 85.5 (B) on 8/25/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed handled raw eggs and change gloves without hand wash between processes.
  • Observed employee wipe hands with used towel and placed towel back in service area.
  •  Observed raw chorizo stored over cooked onions and sweet potatoes.
  • Observed QAC sanitizer out at three compartment sink but sink is set up with sanitizer basin full and no measurable sanitizer concentration.
  •  Observed queso cooled from last night at 60 degrees.
  • Observed Queso and chicken salad between 41 and 45 degrees and held greater than 4 days.

#4 Godavari Authentic Indian Cuisine

Scored 85 (B) on 8/8/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed dishwashers handle soiled equipment and soiled towel then proceed to handle clean equipment without washing their hands in between.
  • Observed soiled equipment stored on handwashing sink at dishwashing area.
  • Observed raw chicken removed from commercial packaging stored over fish and cooked lentil in tall reach in freezer.
  • Observed unwashed peppers and raw shell eggs stored over ready to eat food in tall reach in prep refrigerator.
  • Observed detergent vat at 3 compartment sink at 103 degrees F while staff washing equipment.
  • Observed deep plastic container of cooked lentil cooling in tall reach in freezer from night before according to staff and at 51 degrees F.
  • Observed rice left in warmer according to staff from night before at 50 degrees F.
  • Observed cut cabbage and egg held in flip top prep unit at 51 and 53 degrees F in unit that was not functioning.
  • Observed staff following TPHC on buffet items but raita not identified on time chart.

#3 El Tropico Restuarant

Scored 82.5 on 8/28 (B)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed an uncovered employee drink stored beside a food prep sink.
  • Observed no paper towels at the hand sink by the coffee pot and the hand sink by the back door.
  • Observed no soap at the hand sink by the back door.
  • Observed a cup stored in the hand sink by the coffee pot.
  • Observed an employee dump a container into the hand sink.
  • Observed an employee rinse cucumbers in the hand sink.
  • Observed a container of spoiled, curdled heavy cream in the prep unit on the cook line.
  • Observed the shellstock tags out of order and the dates of the last one used were not written on the tags.
  • Observed raw shell eggs, raw shrimp and raw ground beef stored above ready to eat foods in the walk in cooler.
  • Observed the dish machine not sanitizing.
  • Observed heavy black build up in the ice machine.
  • Observed several TCS items above 45F in the prep unit on the cook line.
  • Observed no date marking on any items in the facility.
  • Observed a bottle of Windex stored on a prep table.
  • Observed a bottle of grill cleaner stored next to a bag of sugar.

#2 Antojitos Don Sammy

Scored 82 (B) on 8/9/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed an employee enter the unit, after entering/using a storage unit, don gloves without a hand wash in attempt to prepare RTE food.
  • Observed unit storing TCS foods in an over seas shipping container. EHS also observed a prep table, dry and cold storage equipment in the shipping container.
  • Observed rice (117F) and beans (125F).
  • Observed cut lettuce (50F), cut tomatoes (51F), cheese (48F), green salsa (50F), red salsa (51F), cooked corn (50F), RTE beef (47F), cooked cactus (50F), RTE beans (49F), hot dogs (50F), raw beef (48F), raw pork (47F), and raw chicken (46F).

#1 La Lonchera Latapatia

Scored 78 (C) on 8/23/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • EHS observed unit operating without providing water to any faucet on the unit.
  • Observed employee drinks, twist top bottles, stored on food prep surfaces and above RTE items in the low boy cooler.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above raw pork in the low boy reach in. Also observed raw chicken stored above RTE sauces in reach in #2.
  • Observed no sanitizer on the unit during the inspection.
  • Observed several large and small metal containers stored clean, with food debris left on them.
  • Observed utensils stored clean, with food debris left on them.
  • Observed a thin probe thermometer stored clean with food debris build up.
  • Observed cut lettuce, cut cabbage, and pupusa cheese mix all above 45F.

As of September 6th, the above scores have not changed, but they can be increased (or decreased) at any time, as soon as they have a re-inspection.

If you’d like to monitor health scores, or do a quick search for a restaurant you’re about to eat at, check out North Carolina’s health inspection database here.