Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores In February 2019


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). You can see exactly what the inspectors look for on this blank copy of an inspection report.

These were the top 10 worst inspection scores in Mecklenburg County for the month of February:

#10 Sithara

Scored 88 (B) on 2/28/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee bottle drink stored on prep table.
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored on rack above cauliflower and other vegetables.
  • Observed large number of spices and herbs in open containers stored on shelf by back door.
  • Observed foods made 24 hrs ago or more that were not date marked in walk in and prep cooler including a pan of biryani rice, cooked chicken, and cooked potatoes.
  • Observed a number of foods with confusing and/or old date markings in walk in cooler: cooked chicken date marked for 12 days ago, cooked TCS tomato sauce date marked for 10 days ago, onion sauce date marked with two different date stickers and a pan of veggie sambar with 3 different date stickers.
  • Observed 3 buckets of peeled onions stored on floor of kitchen.

#9 Coastal Kitchen Cafe

222 E 3RD ST., CHARLOTTE NC 28202
Scored 88 (B) on 2/7/2019 (rescored a 97 (A) on 2/12)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed bartender bare hand fruit and put it into drinks.
  • Observed ice dumped in handsink on the line.
  • Observed par-cooked chicken wings stored over raw fish in cooler drawer on line.
  • Observed unwashed berries stored over ready to eat foods in server/dessert reach in cooler.
  • Observed raw smoked salmon stored over ready to eat bacon.
  • Observed raw bacon stored over ready to eat english muffins and cheese on speed rack in walk in.
  • Observed raw salmon stored over ready to eat items in freezer on speed rack.
  • Observed quat dispenser at 3-comp sink dispensing at 100ppm.
  • Observed wings that were par-cooked yesterday are not logged on the cooling/tracking sheet.
  • Observed wings not labeled on the line and in walk-in cooler as raw and must go to 165F as a final cook.
  • Observed no logging is occurring for the final cook of the wings.
  • Observed several items on kitchen line above 41F including potatoes, tofu, crabcake remoulade, lettuce, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing.
  • Observed cabbage slaw mix dated 1/30 in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed potatoes dated 1/30.

#8 Wild Wings Cafe

Scored 87.5 (B) on 2/4/2019 (rescored a 93 (A) on 2/20)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee drink stored on prep table.
  • Observed sponge in back handsink by walk-in cooler.
  • Observed no paper towels at bar handsink and handsink by 3 comp sink.
  • Observed raw beef and raw burgers stored above raw shrimp, raw eggs, and above ready-to-eat veggie burgers.
  • Observed multiple plates, metal/plastic containers, tongs, and ladels with food debris build-up and stored as clean.
  • Observed 3 containers of queso, ground beef, and chicken soup that was above 41F
  • Observed containers of turkey burgers, veggie burgers, raw burgers/beef, raw shrimp, and raw eggs cold holding above 41F
  • Observed cut lettuce and cut tomatoes without a date label.
  • Observed containers of buffalo chicken dip, salsa, ham and turkey labeled for 1/3.

#7 Red Sea Ethiopian Cuisine

Scored 86 (B) on 2/22/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed significant food debris in the bottom of two hand sinks.
  • Employee observed rinsing spoon in handsink then proceeding to use spoon at the stove.
  • Observed several plates, bowls, and other utensils on side storage rack heavily soiled with food debris.
  • Observed potato/cabbage mix in walk in cooler at 51F.
  • Observed butter stored at room temperature at 63F.
  • Observed chicken at 42F and lettuce at 43F in the salad cooler.
  • Observed container of sanitizer not labeled on bottom prep shelf.
  • Observed quat ammonia sanitizer above 400PPM.
  • Observed several dead flies/gnats on back kitchen window seal.

#6 Ely Tortilleria

Scored 86 (B) on 2/25/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed an employee cutting an onion and another employee cutting a lime with bare hands.
  • Observed a dunnage rack with a box and big pot stored on it in front of the hand sink by the back door.
  • Observed no paper towels at the hand sink by the back door.
  • Observed an employee touch raw beef with gloves then with the same gloves touch the meat cooler door and the number pad on the digital scale.
  • Observed an employee sanitizing plate and utensils in 10 ppm chlorine.
  • Observed rajas (cooked vegetables for pupusas) in the reach in cooler at 50F at 2:00 PM.
  • Observed cooked jalepenos, onions and beef bbq holding below 135F in the hot holding case.
  • Observed lettuce, cheese and pork between 42F and 45F.
  • Observed 2 bottles of degreaser unlabeled.

#5 BlackFinn Ameripub

Scored 85.5 (B) on 2/14/2019 (rescored a 94 (A) on 2/22)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no soap at one of the handsinks in the bar.
  • Observed a used rag hanging over the handsink by the soda machine in the kitchen.
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored over ready to eat food in the bottom of the prep cooler beside grill.
  • Observed dried food debris on the slicer that was stored as clean. Employee stated the slicer had not been used today.
  • Observed the sanitizer in the ware washing machine reading 0 ppm.
  • Observed a piece of salmon that had just been taken off the grill at 111F in the center.
  • Observed several containers of cheese sauce that had been cooked and cooled yesterday.
  • Observed TCS items cold holding above 41F.
  • Observed milk, roasted potatoes, pulled pork, cooked veggies, cauliflower mix, cooked onions, grit cakes and chicken wings with no date mark.
  • Observed a large container of chicken wings in a cooler drawer with no date mark.
  • Observed several spray bottles of cleaners with no label. Bottles had multi purpose cleaners in them.

#4 Wok Bo

Scored 84.5 (B) on 2/23/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employees handling raw chicken did not wash their hands before touching other items in the kitchen.
  • Only observed one hand wash but it was less than 15 seconds and only at the direction of the EHS.
  • Observed the front hand sink was being used to soak towels for cleaning tables.
  • Observed raw chicken over raw beef.
  • Observed a large container of raw chicken was placed on the rice to use as a stand while cooking. Raw beef also over noodles.
  • Observed raw beef prep was being conducted that the 3 compartment sink that also was being used for dirty dishes.
  • Observed containers and dishes stored as clean had food debris on them and were pulled for further cleaning.
  • Observed egg rolls being held on the edge of the fryer to keep warm. They were 100 F and moved to cool after discussion.
  • Observed several items without date marks such as cooked chicken and beef. Facility also had some items date marked for 2/12.
  • Observed a few old pesticide containers that were rusted so the label could not be read.

#3 Thai Taste 

Scored 84.5 (B) on 2/28/2019

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee eating plate of pizzas on prep top while in the processing of rolling spring rolls at the same time.
  • Observed employee handle soil dishes and then clean dishes without washing hands.
  • Observed employee trying to thaw raw shrimp and beef in same container in a prep sink where raw duck was processed.
  • Observed ice machine with pink and black debris.
  • Observed 3 batches of chicken from the night before at 45-46F.
  • Observed portion of soup of the day holding on countertop without any form of temperature control.
  • Observed prep unit closest to reach ins with an ambient air of 50F and holding TCS items above 45F.
  • Observed food in prep tops that were held from the day before and items not date marked.
  • Observed peanut sauce that is held on TPHC but was not labeled and no TPHC procedures available.

#2 Chinatown Restaurant

Scored 80.5 (B) on 2/25/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed an ashtray and cigarettes located inside the kitchen.
  • Observed employees were recontaminating their hands on the hand sink handles after washing.
  • Observed an employee answering a call on his phone and going back to cooking without washing their hands.
  • Observed the hot water did not work at the rear hand sink of the kitchen.
  • Observed paper towels were not available at the front of the house hand sink.
  • Observed multiple items in the walk-in were not covered.
  • Observed cabbage places directly on dirty laminate flooring used to cover shelves.
  • Observed noodles were sitting on the 3 compartment sink which also contained dirty dishes.
  • Observed the majority of containers and food contact surfaces were not clean to sight and touch.
  • Observed cut cabbage sitting out at 50F and noodles sitting out at 53F.
  • Nothing in the facility is date marked. The facility was unsure when many items were taken out for use. Some had clearly been pulled out of the freezer on previous days but the PIC was unsure when. Items not date marked included cooked chicken, pork, and cut cabbage.
  • Observed a sprayer filled with what the facility said was a cleaner. No label was present on the sprayer.

#1 Sheraton Hotel Bar & Kitchen

Scored 77 (C) on 2/7/2019 (rescored a 93 (A) on 2/21)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed a pattern of no active managerial control over (C)-employees complying with the NC Food Code, (G)-cooling, (H)-consumer advisory for undercooked foods, and (I)-sanitizing multi-use equipment and utensils.
  • Observed one dead juvenile roach in the kitchen.
  • Observed soap at one handsink but sanitizer labeled as soap in two other hand sinks. No soap was available at either of those sinks.
  • Observed several portioned and wrapped packages of moldy cheese stored in line coolers for use.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above raw beef.
  • Observed raw eggs stored above ready to eat foods.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored above ready to eat foods.
  • Observed many food containers throughout kitchen stored uncovered but not because they were still cooling.
  • Observed soiled equipment and utensils stored as clean – shakers at bar, metal pans on racks, food processor.
  • Observed bar glass washer dispensing no sanitizer into final rinse.
  • Observed two deep containers of crab soup in walk in cooler.
  • Observed link sausage on buffet measuring 127F and potatoes hot holding at 129F on stovetop.
  • Observed nearly all items stored over ice on cook line measured above 41F, many as high as 70F.
  • Observed no date marking on almost all small pans on cook line, many pans in undercounter coolers and prep coolers, and many pans or trays in walk in coolers. Items ranged from cooked meats and vegetables to cut leafy greens, cut melons, and opened ready to eat foods.
  • Observed expired foods available for sale – cheese dated January 19 and pork shank cooked and dated January 18.
  • Observed newly printed menus lacking disclosure for eggs cooked to order and for ribeye steak offered undercooked.
  • Observed unlabeled spray bottle of cleaner at dishwasher area and unlabeled square clear pan of sanitizer with wiping cloth stored in it on the line in the kitchen as well as unlabeled red bucket of sanitizer in kitchen.

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.