Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores In July 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 Charlotte for the month of July:

#10 Zoes Kitchen

Scored 92 (A) on 7/19/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager present during entire time of inspection.
  • Observed blade, 2 knives, plastic container, dicer blade, and other equipment parts with food debris stored as clean.
  • Observed several items in cold wells (sliced tomatoes, chicken salad, harissa sauce, cut melon, slaw), cold drawers (2 pans of slaw), and WIC (4 large plastic containers of meat lentil soup, chicken rollups, steak rollups) holding temperatures above 41F.
  • Observed several pans of chicken rollups and steak rollups in WIC that were just prepped overstacked.

#9 Wing King Cafe 

Scored 91.5 (A) on 7/10/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed ice machine interior plastic chute contain pink mold.
  • Observed cook wipe in use utensil knife with cloth located on waist and store with other clean knives.
  • Chicken wings, housemade sauces, raw chicken, roast beef cheese and other foods in the walk in cooler were cold holding >41 degrees F. Sliced lettuce, tomatoes and boiled eggs were cold holding > 41 degrees in reach in 1 door unit also.
  • Observed baked potatoes, raw steaks, jugs of buttermilk, eggrolls and raw chicken in the 1 door tall reach in cold hold unit cold holding >41 degrees also.
  • Observed wings and other tcs foods date marked to be discarded on the 8th day. Ensure that all prepped tcs foods held at 41 and below is not being stored onsite longer than 7 days.
  • Observed several flies located near the can wash which is in proximity of the outside walk in cooler. Also observed several flies in the prep kitchen.

#8 Just Fresh

Scored 90.5 (B) on 7/3/2019

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed half and half in reach in cooler at 42F.
  • Observed broccoli and cheese soup at 2 hours from placing in the steam table to be 124F.
  • Observed chili at 2 hours from placing in the steam table to be 149F.
  • Observed sandwiches for a catering cooling at .017F/min.
  • Observed romaine and spring mix in the prep top cooler above 41F.
  • Observed date mark on quinoa in walk in cooler for 6/28. Quinoa in pan on line says 7/1 and quinoa salad sides are dated 7/3.
  • Observed smoothie cooler gasket with black build up.

#7 Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Scored 88.5 (B) on 7/15/2019 (rescored to 95 on 7/29)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed multiple metal bowls, plastic containers, plastic lids, and other equipment and utensils with food debris but stored as clean.
  • Observed chlorine-sanitizing dishmachine operating but sanitizer read 0ppm.
  • Observed several items in prep top unit, reach-in units, fridge, and cold drawers holding temperatures above 41F.
  • Observed one item (milk) that was opened yesterday without datemarking labels.
  • Observed two containers of in-house-made poblano mayo (prepped on 6/25 and 7/1) expired, as well as a container of west coast sauce date marked for 8 days and expired yesterday.
  • Observed all items held on TPHC in ice baths in kitchen without time label.
  • Observed multiple gnats in kitchen area.
  • Observed heavy food debris accumulated in prep top units, reach-in units, on dry storage shelving, at dishmachine, and all other equipment.

#6 Hyatt Place

Scored 88 (B) on 7/11/2019 (rescored to 92 on 7/24)

They had the following violations;

  • No one on duty has passed and ANSI accredited test.
  • Observed employee touch dirty dishes, then RINSE hands in prep sink before touching clean dishes.
  • There were not any paper towels at hand sinks in kitchen area.
  • Observed a mop bucket stored in front of hand sink near entrance. Also, observed an apron hanging in front the hand sink near kitchen entrance.
  • Observed hot water at dish machine reach a peak temp of 150 F.
  • Observed opened, commercially-processed bags of sausage links, sausage patties, and pulled pork that were not dated.

#5 Halal Market

Scored 88 (B) on 7/31/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed both the food employee and the store owner without an Ansi certification for food management.
  • Observed manager not understanding employee health policy.
  • Observed food employee sitting down next to food prep surface with phone on prep surface.
  • Observed food employee go from handling trash and go to start prepping.
  • Observed food employee go to the handwash sink and start washing gloves.
  • Observed frozen chicken stored over raw lamb.
  • Observed food employee go to the handwash sink and start washing gloves.
  • Observed food employee using a prep sink to wash dishes, explaiend the 3-comp sink smells when washing dishes due to greas trap and is using prep sink instead.
  • Observed a heavy infestation of gnats and flies in meat market area.

#4 SOHO Market Krispy Krunchy Chicken

Scored 87.50 (B) on 7/17/2019

They had the following violations;

  • No one at facility has passed an ANSI accredited test.
  • There was not any soap at hand sink in kitchen area.
  • Paper towels were installed at all hand sinks.
  • Observed large amount of mold and mildew in top interior of ice machine near hot water heater.
  • Chicken wings, chicken tenders and fries were hot holding <135 degrees F.
  • Cold hold reach in and flip top unit contained out of temp sausage links, sausage patties, cheese, gizzards and lettuce. Several pounds of food had to be discarded due to inadequate cold holding taking place in back cooler units. Foods that were voluntarily discarded was cooked ham, liver loaf, cheese, lettuce etc. Raw chicken that was just delivered was moved into store walk in cooler.

#3 Jersey Mike’s Subs

Scored 86.50 (B) on 7/17/2019 (rescored to 93 on 7/25)

They had the following violations;

  • There was not any labels for time in-time out for sliced lettuce and sliced tomatoes at front counter.
  • Items in glass door cooler such as sliced turkey and ham were not dated once container was opened.
  • Observed two roast beef that were cooked last night according to PIC. Temperature of roast beef was 51 F. Time of temp was 11:30am.
  • Observed food employees changing task from taking orders, to preparing food. Employees changed gloves but did not wash hands.
  • Large amount of fruit flies present in kitchen, prep area, and make line.

#2 Luna’s Living Kitchen

Scored 86 (B) on 7/8/2019 (rescored to 98 on 7/18)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee come directly in from the outside door and go to prep food without washing hands.
  • Observed several items stored clean that were soiled, including a slicer.
  • Observed buckets of sanitizer with 0ppm quat sanitizer.
  • Observed 3-comp being used for dishwashing with 0ppm quat sanitizer.
  • Observed both ware-washing machines at the incorrect temperature for proper cleaning.
  • Observed a large batch of rehydrated-cooked chiptoles that were cooling in a sink with melting ice. Product was sitting at 105 at 12:00, at 12:56 it was 92F. Item was not going to reach cooling requirement.
  • Observed cooked sweet potatoes and black beans/rice dish in a steamwell with temps below 135F.
  • Observed to prep units on front prep line area not holding at 41F or below. Front ambient was 50F, the sandwhich prep unit was 48F.

#1 Santa Fe Mexican Restaurant 

Scored 76.5 (C) on 7/26/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed the facility was not able to provide any information about an employee health policy and the training of their employees.
  • Observed an employee put on gloves without washing their hands while still wearing their purse upon coming to work.
  • Observed an employee wipe their gloves on their towel around their waist and also touch the dirty dishes in the dish area before returning to food and not washing their hands upon changing gloves.
  • Observed an employee was mixing beans that were to be cooked with her hand an arm almost down to her elbow.
  • Observed a seafood haccp letter for shrimp but no mention of parasites.
  • Observed unwashed and washed produce mixed together on shelves. Keep washed over unwashed produce.
  • Observed red sauce at 75F degrees after over 2 hours of cooling.
  • Observed whole chickens were as low as 115F and falling in temperature as they are put in a metal box that does not have any temperature control.
  • Observed the entire walk-in cooler was holding at 43F. This is a repeat violation.
  • Observed multiple cooked items on the line were not date marked.
  • Observed several cooked items in the walk-in were past the 7 days allowed at 41F and many were past 4 days with a walk-in holding at 43F.

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.