Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores In January 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 January:

#10 American Deli

Scored 88.5 (B) on 1/30/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed one food employee rinsing hands without using soap and another food employee washing hands and touching faucet handle without using a barrier.
  • Observed food employees placing raw meats on grill to cook and then attempt to place new gloves on hands to handle RTE foods.
  • Observed par cooked wings hot holding at 92F in fryer basket.
  • Observed thousand island dressing, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, and other package condiments stating KEEP REFRIGERATED stored on prep table and dry storage shelf at room temperature at 50F.
  • Observed fries at room temperature at 47F.
  • Observed sanitizer in use that is more than 200 ppm chlorine concentration.

#9 Tupelo Honey Cafe

Scored 88 (B) on 1/28/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed soiled utensils stored as clean – blender, shredder, several metal pans and china dinnerware, tray of washed silverware.
  • Observed sweet potato batter made today not dropping in temperature over a period of 34 minutes.
  • Observed some of the foods in the hot box not holding at or above 135F.
  • Observed several items measuring above 41F and hard boiled eggs measuring 57F.
  • Observed many pans of TCS food undated – cheeses, vegetables, cooked meats and poultry.
  • Observed two small slow cookers labeled “for household use only.”

#8 Be Em Asian Kitchen

Scored 87.5 (B) on 1/22/2019 (rescored a 95.5 (A) on 1/29)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Small container of raw beef placed above tub of cooked brown rice in walk in cooler.
  • Observed dark build up from inside ice machine.
  • Observed fried rice holding below 135F in steamer by cook line.
  • Observed tofu on ice bath holding above 41F; sliced beef, chicken, fish balls holding above 41F in poke station flip top; lettuce holding above 41F in low prep cooler.
  • Observed spray bottle of glass cleaner stored on top of flip top at cook line.

#7 Trade Street Taco

Scored 87.5 (B) on 1/2/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in the kitchen as evidenced by handwashing, cold holding, cooling, and hot holding issues.
  • Observed employee don gloves with no handwash several times.
  • Observed employee wash hands for less than 15 seconds, and then turn off faucet with bare hands, therefore recontaminating hands.
  • Observed several dented cans in dry storage area.
  • Observed ice machine with black build up on sides.
  • Observed salsa verde cooling at a rate of 0F/min in reach in cooler.
  • Observed salsa prepared yesterday at 44F.
  • Observed chili sauce cooling in reach in. At 3 hours and 55 min it was 55F.
  • Observed queso in hot well below 135F.
  • Observed salsa above 45F in reach in cooler. Cooler was turned off and salsa was stored in it.
  • Observed lettuce and tomatoes in prep top below 45F, above 41F. Several pans were missing from the prep unit, not allowing it to cold hold effectively.
  • Observed guacamole date 12-18-18 in the refrigerator.

#6 Dunkin Donuts/ Baskin Robbins

Scored 86.5 (B) on 1/17/2019 (rescored a 95.5 (A) on 1/31)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager during inspection.
  • Observed employee who had been working on cash register and performing several other task begin to don gloves with no hand wash.
  • Observed no soap at front handsink. Ensure soap in available at all handsinks at all times.
  •  Observed pink build up beginning to form in the ice machine. Ice cambro in the front area behind ice cream display has an accumulation of debris inside.
  • Observed soiled utensils stored as clean on the racks by 3 compartment sink.

#5 Basil Thai Cuisine

Scored 86 (B) on 1/9/2019 (rescored a 91 (A) on 1/16)

They had the following violations;

  • Through discussion employee did not know what illnesses and symptoms are food related.
  • Observed dishes in 3-comp sink being sanitized in 0ppm quat sanitizer.
  • Observed dish machine pulling 0ppm chlorine sanitizer at bar.
  • Observed duck curry from yesterday cooling in walk in and still above 41F.
  • Observed stewed tomatoes prepared this morning above 41F in prep top cooling at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed several TCS sauces hot holding below 135F including green curry, red curry, and duck curry.
  • Observed eggplant double panned in prep top cooler holding above 45F.
  • Observed some items above 41F in coolers but below 46F veggie roll, ground chicken, ground beef, ground pork, and sprouts.
  • Observed ground chicken, ground beef, and ground pork above 41F (below 45F) and more than 4 days from prep (1/3 and 1/4).

#4 La Romero Taqueria and Juice Bar

Scored 85.5 (B) on 1/8/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no control over handwashing, utensil cleaning, and cooling.
  • Observed employee wash hands for 4 seconds.
  • Observed employee come from behind counter and begin handling food without washing hands.
  • Observed raw beef over papusa mix and raw beef over sauce in walk in.
  • Observed employee use gloves for multiple tasks then continue food prep.
  • Observed head of lettuce, shredded lettuce, and cooked meat that was uncovered.
  • Observed sticker debris stacked on plastic and metal containers, onion slicer, bowls with food debris, pan, and two bins of utensils that was stored soiled.
  • Observed chemical dish machine that was inoperable and taken from facility.
  • Observed spicy salsa and salsa verde in an ice bath at 47F and asada in reach in at 48F.
  • Observed sliced tomatoes, lettuce, mozzerella, cabesa, chicharron, salsa verde, milk and sliced meat not dated.

#3 Mellow Mushroom #169 (Uptown)

Scored 85.5 (B) on 1/3/2019 (rescored a 93 (A) on 1/16)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control throughout kitchen as evidenced by improper glove usage, improper cooling, poor cold holding, and date marking issues.
  • Observed ice machine with black and pink build up on interior chute and ice shield.
  • Observed no handwash sign in family bathroom.
  • Observed employee wearing gloves rinse and load dirty dishes into dish machine and then put away clean dishes.
  • Observed several stacked containers stored as clean with sticker residue and food debris on them.
  • Observed pizza sauce still cooling and prepared today at 11:30am above 41F in walk in, prep top cooler, and cooler drawers.
  • Observed several food items holding above 45F including steak, cooked mushrooms, and meatballs.
  • Observed no date marking on pizza sauce, steak, cooked mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, hummus, or cooked potatoes throughout restaurant.

#2 Dakshin Indian Grill

Scored 84.5 (B) on 1/31/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed dishwasher handle soiled equipment at soiled drain board then handle clean without washing their hands in between.
  • Observed power cord from rice warmer and equipment stored in front of handwashing sink in front prep area.
  • Observed low shelving with onions stored in front of handwashing sink in rear of kitchen.
  • Observed no means to dry hands provided at bar handwashing sink.
  • Observed unwashed produce such as cauliflower stored over ready to eat food in walk in cooler.
  • Observed raw chicken stored over cooked rice and ready to eat foods in flip top prep refrigerator.
  • Observed raw chicken stored over raw fish and raw chicken stored over ready to eat cooked carrot in walk in cooler.
  • Observed no chlorine sanitizer available and registering 0ppm on test kit while staff was washing equipment.
  • Observed dishwasher washing equipment in detergent vat in soapy water at 95 degrees F.
  • Observed microwaves accumulating dried soil / food residues.
  • Observed masala with prep date of 1/22 and cooked vegetable with no date.
  • Observed 2 spray bottles of chemicals not labeled.
  • Observed chemical bottles stored over prep area.

#1 Ink N Ivy 

Scored 78 (C) on 1/9/2019 (rescored a 94.5 (A) on 1/22)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in the kitchen and bar areas as evidenced by barehand contact of ready to eat foods, cold holding issues, dish issues, date marking issues, and food and utensil storage.
  • Observed many dead cockroaches in liquor room.
  • Observed bartenders repeatedly bus eating areas/cups/plates/utensils and then load and unload dishwashers with no handwash.
  • Observed employee handle money and bus customer eating area and then directly move to barehanding fruit into a drink.
  • Observed bar tenders bare hand fruit into customer drinks.
  • Observed no soap at bar hand sink.
  • Observed paper towel dispenser battery go dead partway through inspection.
  • Observed raw shrimp out of commercial packaging stored over ready to eat foods in reach in freezer.
  • Observed raw bacon over ready to eat foods in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed raw shell eggs, and raw pooled eggs stored over butter in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed no dish machine in facility to be pulling sanitizer during inspection (all 3).
  • Observed many dishes stored as clean with heavy food debris, pooled water with food debris in it on food contact surfaces, dishes with greasy films on them, and dishes with plastic remaining on them from being wrapped and baked with a cover.
  • Observed 2 pans raw burgers cooling in reach in, and then moved to walk in, at a rate of 0F/min.
  • Observed several items on line above 45F including but not limited to pastas, romaine, and lobster meat.
  • Observed all but 3 items in walk in cooler above 41F.
  • Observed all units except grill finishing prep top, grill drawers, and dairy reach in holding some or all foods above 41F.
  • Observed same scallion pesto date marked for 1/9 in the reach in.
  • Observed many items in walk in above 41F and more than 4 days old including but not limited to tomatoes, various sauces with cooked vegetables, cooked chorizo, cooked potatoes, and other TCS items.
  • Observed some items such as Lobseter dip with no date mark in prep top, but two batches in the walk in, making it unclear which batch product is from.


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.