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

#10 Zoes Kitchen

Scored 90 (A) on 3/12/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee touch raw salmon kabob, touch in use utensil with same gloves and donned new gloves before conducting food prep with ready to eat foods without any hand washing occurring in between.
  • Observed par cook lamb balls being stored over ready to eat steak roll ups and produce in the walk in cooler. Carrots and onions were being stored on the floor near hand sink in back prep area and on the walk in cooler floor.
  • Interior of ice machine contained heavy amounts of mold buildup.
  • Vegetable Soup and rice were hot holding on top of oven unit at <135 degrees.
  • Sliced tomatoes on flip top unit, cooked vegetables stored inside of reach in and on flip top unit were cold holding >45 degrees. Raw chicken was cold holding at 45 degrees in refrig. drawer.

#9 Ilios Noche

Scored 87.5 (B) on 3/15/2019 (rescored a 98 on 4/1)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed dish machine not set up with container of chlorine sanitizer but instead had container of rinse aid in its place. Dish machine not set up to properly wash, rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces.
  • Observed container of raw chicken stored in contact with container of raw lamb.
  • Observed container of lamb stored on salmon in tall prep refrigerator.
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored over cheese in walk in cooler.
  •  Observed chemical dish machine registering 0ppm chlorine in kitchen.
  • Observed 2 buckets of rinse aid and rinse aid container installed in place of sanitizer that should have been installed to ensure unit was properly washing, rinsing and sanitizing equipment.
  • Observed marinara sauce reheating on holding unit.
  • Observed Pasta overstacked in flip top prep unit at 45 degrees F in unit overnight.
  • Observed ribs with date of preparation of 3/11 and at 42 degrees F, chicken cold held overnight at 43 degrees F in rear walk in cooler area.
  • Observed container of lamb and raw chicken cold held at 42 degrees F in tall prep refrigerator.
  • Observed dish machine at bar testing above 100ppm chlorine sanitizer.
  • Observed quat sanitizer at 3 compartment sink above 400ppm as registered on test kit.

#8 Jasmin Grill

Scored 87 (B) on 3/25/2019

They had the following critical violations;

  • Stopped PIC as he put on gloves and directed him to wash his hands before putting them on.
  • Observed raw chicken stored over raw shrimp and falafel mix.
  • Sanitizer in dish machine was 0ppm Chlorine.
  • Walk-in cooler was holding foods above 45F. Average temperature of food in unit was 45-50F. Staff are going in and out of cooler and not closing the door.
  • No consumer advisory is on the menu.
  • Observed semolina, sugar and lentils in open bags on shelving by the oven.

#7 Waffle House #2043

Scored 87.5 (B) on 3/7/2019 (rescored a 93.5 on 3/29)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee pick box of gloves off the floor, then proceed to prepare food.
  • Observed two large boxes of syrup sitting on top of hand sink near ice machine.
  • Observed max surface temperature reachec in dish machine of 152 F in a temperature sanitizing dish machine.
  • Observed mold buildup on interior surface of ice machine.
  • Observed containers of sausage gravy and waffle batter that were 47 F stored in refrigeration units. Items were prepared yesterday afternoon.
  • Observed bag of sliced lettuce that were not dated once opened.

#6 Clutch

Scored 87 (B) on 3/15/2019 (rescored a 92.5 (A) on 4/4)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee drink stored on cart comingled with wing sauces.
  • Observed employees wash hands for less than 15 seconds several times.
  • Observed employees turn off faucet with barehands, not a papertowel or other barrier.
  • Observed employee washing dishes repeatedly not change gloves and wash hands between dirty and clean dishes.
  • Observed employees handle raw foods and then ready to eat foods with no glove change.
  • Observed several scoops/spoons stored as clean with food residue and debris.
  • Observed several food items at 3-3.5hours after preparation still 55F and above, cooling in prep top coolers.
  • Observed hard boiled eggs still at 57F at 5 hours post cooking.
  • Observed several items including chili and beer cheese cooled to above 41F from yesterday.
  • Observed 2 large prep coolers holding all food above 41F and 45F.
  • Observed cooler drawers holding some food items above 41F and 45F.
  • Observed no date mark on goat cheese spread.

#5 Gridiron

Scored 85.5 (B) on 3/18/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed waiter barehand contact slices of bread and place in toaster.
  • Observed trash can blocking bar handsink.
  • Observed no paper towels at bar handsink.
  • Observed raw salmon stored above ready to eat gravy and raw beef stored above RTE chicken/beef stock.
  • Observed multiple plates with food debris stored as clean.
  • Observed FCS of deli slicer with heavy food debris build up.
  • Observed cooked sausages hot holding below 135F
  • Observed raw eggs, sauteed veggies, veggie soup, and gravy cold holding above 41F (see temp chart).
  • Observed several items such as gravy, cooked veggies, and chicken stock made the day prior without a date mark.
  • Observed opened/prepped fresh mozzarella, sausage dip, beef stock, coleslaw (2/19), pasta (3/11), chicken wings (3/9), and beef sausages not date marked, held past 7 days, or improperly labeled.

#4 Ed’s Tavern

Scored 85 (B) on 3/18/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no paper towels at prep line handsink.
  • Observed no handsoap near dish machine hand sink.
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored behind avocados and ready to eat foods in the top sandwich prep cooler.
  • Observed raw shell eggs in walk-in cooler stored directly beside box of tortillas and hotdogs.
  • Observed quaternary ammonia sanitizer solution in sanitizer bucket at 0 PPM.
  • Observed quaternary ammonia dispenser providing sanitizer at 0 ppm at the three compartment sink.
  • Observed chlorine sanitizer at the bar dishwasher at 0 PPM. CDI. The quaternary ammonia sanitizer was remade manually to 400 PPM.
  • Observed tomato soup cooling at a rate of .38F/minute. To achieve proper cooling from 135F to 70F, it must cool at a rate of .54F/minute. Per PIC, the tomato soup had been cooling for approximately half hour when first cooling temperature was taken.
  • Observed sliced tomatoes, cut leaf lettuce, black beans, boiled eggs, grilled onions, and buttermilk bath for fried items held above 41F (see temperature chart).
  • Observed container of taco meat in low boy and pasta salad in reach in cooler made yesterday without a date mark.
  • Observed grilled chicken held on time per PIC but not labeled with time sticker.

#3 Eddie V Seafood

Scored 83.5 (B) on 3/7/2019 (rescored a 92 (A) on 4/3)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Through discussion, several employees were unable to provide food borne illnesses and symptoms that they should not come to work with. One employee was able to name all illnesses.
  • Observed employee drink stored on prep top in back kitchen, and on front line.
  • Observed employee wash hands and then turn off faucet with barehands.
  • Observed employee handle dirty dishes and then change gloves but not wash hands before donning gloves.
  • Observed drink dumped in handsink at 3-comp sink.
  • Observed large amount of ice in handsink at bar.
  • Observed employee load dirty dishes and then move to and handle clean dishes.
  • Observed raw fish stored behind ready to eat crab in cooler drawer at steak station.
  • Observed raw tuna stored behind ready to eat shrimp in cooler drawer at oyster station.
  • Observed baked potatoes cooling at a rate of .23F/min, and then .025F/min.
  • Observed cheese sauce at 2 hours after cooling began, above 70F.
  • Observed mashed potatoes in bowls held hot in salamander below 135F.
  • Observed corn, spinach, carrots, tapenade, and chopped beef in prep top units above 41F, some over 45F.
  • Observed beets date marked 2/26, veal jus marked 2/28, and caesar dressing date marked 2/28.
  • Observed no date mark on liquid egg yolks or creme fraiche in walk in cooler.
  • Observed mozzarella cheese with no time stamp 2 times during inspection.

#2 Emzy Sushi Bar & Asian Kitchen

Scored 82 (B) on 3/22/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in kitchen as evidenced by poor handwashing, poor cooling, poor storage order, and poor cold holding.
  • Observed employees turn off faucet with barehands after washing them.
  • Observed employee handle dirty dishes and then move straight to expediting food and adding garnishes.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over ready to eat foods and washed produce in walk in cooler.
  • Observed pans of raw chicken stored over ready to eat foods in walk-in freezer. Items were out of commercial packaging.
  • Observed raw salmon stored over ready to eat foods in walk in cooler.
  • Observed several items above 41F (udon noodle, lettuce, salmon, garlic in oil) and some above 45F (masago, edamame, tofu) in facility.

#1 Boiling Pot/China GoGo

Scored 80 (B) on 3/10/2019 (rescored a 94 (A) on 3/17)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in kitchen based on improper handwashing, improper glove usage, lack of cold holding, lack of hot holding, lack of cooling, and cross-contamination issues.
  • Observed employees wash hands and turn off faucet with bare hands, therefore recontaminating hands.
  • Observed front of house employees don gloves with no handwash.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over ready to eat foods in coolers throughout the facility.
  • Observed raw beef, raw chicken, and raw pork comingled in same pan in reach in freezer. Keep species separate and store based on final cook temperatures.
  • Observed staff slice raw beef and then raw chicken on the same slicer with no cleaning between proteins.
  • Observed front of house employees doff gloves, serve food to customer, come back and don same gloves.
  • Observed raw eggs stored over vegetables in walk in.
  • Observed slicer with heavy debris build up.
  • Observed can opener blade with food build up.
  • Observed quat sanitizer dispenser dispensing sanitizer below 200ppm.
  • Observed fried tofu at 100F after 4 hours; miso soup cooling at a rate of .37F/min, and kimchi soup cooling at a rate of .31F/min in first cooling parameter.
  • Observed bus tubs of rice and chicken cooling from yesterday still at 47F.
  • Observed bus tub of chicken still at 81F after 4 hours.
  • Observed soups below 135F on stove with burners turned off.
  • Observed several food items holding above 41F (beef, cabbage, shrimp sauce, pork, noodles) throughout facility and many above 45F (tofu, chicken, fried rice, fried taro, fried tofu, cheese, sausage, blue crab, crawfish, calamari, mussels, shrimp, clams).
  • Observed several items held more than 24 hours with no date marking.
  • Observed cabbage, black fungus, and tofu held on TPHC with no time labeling.

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.