Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in December 2022


Even though the Charlotte region’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).

These were the top 10 worst inspection scores in Charlotte for December, 2022;

#10 Stoke Restaurant

Scored 91.5 (A) on 12/19/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no CFPM present during inspection.
  • Observed employee beverage in closed container stored on prep table.
  • Observed utensils in handsink at front grill area.
  • Observed whole muscle beef stored next to ground beef patties in front grill area.
  • Observed utensils stored clean in container with debris and some utensils had debris build-up.
  • Observed multiple containers of TCS food throughout facility with no date marking.
  • Observed improper date marking in walk in and reach in cooler.
  • Observed chicken held on time with no written procedures.
  • Observed bottle of disinfectant stored on prep table next to containers of food.
  • Observed containers of food stored next to sanitizers and cleaning chemicals in front grill area.

#9 Bonzai Thai

Scored 90.5 (A) on 12/29/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed out-dated Employee Health Policy form.
  • No written procedures in facility.
  • Observed sticky adhesive being transferred to interior food contact surfaces of pans due to being stacked together.
  • Observed large pot of soup stored inside the prep cooler at 57 F.
  • Observed large container of cabbage and carrots stored inside the WIC.
  • Observed RTE TCS food items (Chopped Cabbage, Wine Noodles, Crab Rangoon, Rice Noodles) stored inside the prep RIC and the WIC with no date marking to indicate the date of preparation or disposal.
  • Observed Lunch and dinner Menu with a consumer advisory, no asterisks, were present to make customers aware of looking to the footnote.
  • Observed spray bottle of chemical cleaner not labeled with the name of the chemical substance.
  • Observed heads of cabbage stored on the floor inside the kitchen.

#8 Bella Ciao

Scored 90 (A) on 12/2/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall training needed with prep staff and lack of control throughout facility as evidenced by repeated cooling and cold holding violations.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over ready to eat produce throughout walk in cooler.
  • Observed black build up on ice dispenser and cup arm of ice dispenser where ice falls against at server drink machine station.
  • Observed to go packaged ziti cooling in WIC at 61F upon arrival. Product had an hour left to cool to 41F.
  • Observed crushed tomato sauce cooling in prep top with 30 min left at 51F.
  • Observed briuscetta cooling at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed quinoa in salad prep top at 42F.
  • Observed one pan of chicken in pizza prep top at 45F.
  • Observed shredded parmesan cheese held on counter at expo at room temperature.
  • Observed no date mark on house made spicy ranch in cooler drawer, or open chub ham in walk in cooler, or lettuce mix in salad cooler.
  • Observed no date mark on pasteurized egg whites, pasteurized egg yolks, or cream in walk in cooler.

#7 Taqueria Express Grill

Scored 89 (B) on 12/20/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed 2 employee drinks being stored on shelf above prep counter.
  • Observed employee wash hands and turn faucet off with bare hands before donning gloves to begin food prep.
  • Observed 2 covered containers of refried beans cooling in WIC since yesterday. Temps were 51F and 53F.
  • Observed several containers of cooked chicken prepared yesterday and raw chicken being held between 43F – 45F in RIC.
  • Observed a container of cooked pork and corn being held in RIC that was prepared yesterday missing date mark.
  • Observed spray bottle of sanitizer being stored on shelf over prep counter.

#6 El Valle

Scored 88.5 (B) on 12/6/2022 (rescored to 92.5 on 12/12)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee did not know reportable symptoms of reference posted policy.
  • Observed par cooked chicken stored over cooked beef and pork in the reaching unit.
  • Observed queso was hot holding at 127F that had been hot holding since around 10:30an.
  • Observed shredded lettuce in the prep cooler top cooler at 45F.
  • Observed flan and salsa left over from the previous day were not date marked.
  • Observed shredded lettuce that was washed and shredded 1 hour before inspection stored in large, deep, plastic containers with tight lids.

#5 Thien Phu

Scored 88 (B) on 12/21/2022

They had the following violations;

  • No employee present with ANSI food protection manager certification.
  • Mayo made with raw eggs stored on shelf above vegetables in upright cooler.
  • Raw beef that wasn’t in original package was stored directly on top of broth in upright freezer.
  • Mayo (made with raw eggs), pate, and ham measured 48-50F in upright cooler.
  • No TCS ready-to-eat foods in coolers had date labels (in-house made mayo, pate, ham, rice, meatball, and broths).

#4 Springhill Suites

Scored 85.5 (B) on 12/28/2022

They had the following violations;

  • No PIC was present during inspection.
  • No employees have a CFPM ANSI certification.
  • Observed employees are unaware of Employee health policy information and appear to have had no training on the policy.
  • Observed employee handling phone and not washing hands before returning to food prep.
  • Observed mop in bucket and rolling cart blocking the hand sink in kitchen area.
  • Observed white plates and other utensils in facility with residue or debris on them that are stored as clean.
  • Observed dish machine stated it was chemical sanitizing but with 0 ppm sanitizer.
  • Observed QAC sanitizer at 3 -comp sink read less than 200 ppm.
  • Observed employee washing and rinsing dishes with soap but not sanitizing dishes.
  • Observed open container of commercial salsa at 69 F sitting stored on shelf under oven and microwaves.
  • Observed salsa and sausage in reach in and opened container of salsa on shelf with no date labels.
  • Observed facility has TPHC procedures and time is meant to be marked in a log when food is placed out for service.

#3 Nori Japan 

Scored 84 (B) on 12/7/2022

They had the following violations;

  • No serve safe ANSI accertified food protection manager present during the time of the inspection.
  • Observed PIC and food employee unable to tell EHS the six reportable foodborne illnesses and symptoms.
  • No vomiting or diarrhea clean up plans observed during inspection.
  • Observed no handwashing occur during the inspection. It’s important that team members are washing hands when they become contaminated to prevent possible contamination of foods.
  • Observed a metal scrubber for dishes inside of hand washing sink during the inspection.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above scallops and salmon.
  • Observed unwashed vegetables stored above ready to eat.
  • Observed multiple food contact surfaces with food debris from previous uses left attached.
  • Observed breaded chicken stored on the main line below temperature threshold of 135F.
  • Observed a number of foods stored above 41F cold holding threshold.
  • Observed items prepared the day before without dates present.
  • Observed no TPHC procedures present during the inspection.

#2 La Sa Son

Scored 84 (B) on 12/28/2022

They had the following violations;

  • PIC was not able to answer questions regarding employee health symptoms or illnesses.
  • Observed loose cigarette in facility.
  • Employee washed hands with no soap, drying, and while wearing gloves. Employee washed hands at prep sink.
  • Both hand sinks in kitchen had miscellaneous items stored in basins.
  • Invoice for tuna loins received frozen had no trace-back information.
  • Raw fish over yuca in WIC. Raw eggs over RTE food in WIC.
  • Colander stored clean with significant food debris attached.
  • Found tuna, beef dropping below 135.0 F in hot holding
  • Found TCS foods in small prep cooler above 41.0 F. Hot fish and shrimp had been placed in unit for cooling, resulting in other foods coming up above 41.0 F Refer to temperature chart.
  • Observed no date marking in facility. Verification within 10 days of a date marking system.

#1 Thai House

Scored 77 (C) on 12/20/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC with several food risk violations.
  • Observed drinks stored throughout the unit intermixed with food.
  • Observed food items in prep top 1 and 2 heavily over stacked and touching heavily soiled and contaminated parts of the unit.
  • Observed raw meat stored and with lettuce.
  • Observed raw shrimp stacked on top of carrots in the low reach in unit.
  • Observed raw chicken and pork stored over vegetables in the low reach in unit.
  • Observed different meats in prep top unit 1 over stacked and cross contaminating one another. Cross contamination was found between the raw shrimp, chicken and beef.
  • Observed meat grinder in need of cleaning.
  • Observed stacks and stacks of plastic containers in need of cleaning.
  • Observed several containers, utensils and pieces of equipment in contact with heavily soiled shelves and knife holder.
  • Observed rodent droppings on top of lids of sugar, salt and other.
  • Observed tomatoes, beef and pork in prep top 1 holding above 41F.
  • Observed tofu and beef in prep top 2 holding above 41F.
  • Observed oil/ garlic mix stored at room temp.
  • Observed containers of bleach without a label.
  • Observed spray bottle of unknown liquid.

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.