Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in May 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 May, 2022;

#10 Mega Baleada

Scored 87.5 (B) on 5/19/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employees wash hands for a total time of 4 seconds, not meeting hand washing required times.
  • Observed hand washing sink in the front of house with bucket stored inside upon arrival to inspection.
  • Observed hand washing sink in the back of house with a plate stored inside.
  • Observed ice machine with build up inside on the back wall.
  • Observed items inside of the prep unit including lettuce, cabbage, pico de gallo, crema in a sauce bottle, crema in pan, salsa verde, shelled eggs, and salsa all above temperature threshold.
  • Observed stainless steel cleaner and other cleaners stored above avocados during the inspection.
  • Observed sanitizer placed inside of a secondary spray bottle without a label present to identify contents stored inside.

#9 Bonchon

Scored 87.5 (B) on 5/25/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employees not aware of the requirement to report Salmonella nontyphoidal and other foodborne illnesses.
  • Observed food employee rinse off hands in prep sink and then wash hands in handsink, recontaminating hands when turning off water without a barrier.
  • Observed food employee spread out RTE wings in plastic bin with bare hands.
  • Observed raw chicken stored directly above RTE salad dressing on walk in shelf.
  • Observed cole slaw cooling since closing on previous night at 9P still above 41F at 11:20A.
  • Observed raw pork, cooked chicken in prep units at cook line cold holding above 41F.
  • Observed boneless wins and bone-in wings held at room temp on TPHC with time stamp and no written procedure for boneless wings.
  • Observed asterisk and consumer advisory on bottom of menu without any items identified as raw or undercooked.
  • Observed unlabeled bucket of quat sanitizer in wait station near drink dispenser.

#8 Wing Stop

Scored 87.5 (B) on 5/25/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee wash hands and then proceeded to turn off water with bare hands.
  • Observed foil wrappers stored inside one hand sink and food debris in another sink.
  • Observed no paper towels at hand sink in men’s restroom.
  • Observed a mop stored in front of hand sink at beginning of inspection.
  • Potato slicer and ice scoop were observed visibly unclean.
  • Interior ice machine was noted with a build-up of residue.
  • Observed blanched fries stored on time lacking a start time on the label.

#7 Mortons The Steakhouse

Scored 87 (B) on 5/12/2022 (rescored to 95.50 (A) on 5/27/2022)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no paper towels at handsink in the dish area or on the front line.
  • Observed employee dump chlorine chemical bottles down the handsink to dispose of chemical. Observed line handsink blocked by hose and several chemical bottles stored in the sink and by a ice bin in front of the sink.
  • Observed raw steak and raw burgers stored over RTE lobster and crab cakes.
  • Observed raw burgers stored over salmon in walk in.
  • Observed dish machine in the kitchen at 10ppm chlorine.
  • Observed au jus cooling at a rate of .035F/min.
  • Observed butters for steaks held out at room temperature.
  • Observed blue cheese stuffed olives at the bar holding at 45F.
  • Observed ricotta from 4/30, house made blue cheese dressing from 5/1 in reach in.
  • Observed several items pulled from the freezer but with no pulled from frozen(PFF) date and the original prep date was more than 7 days prior.
  • Observed no date marks on several items throughout facility in walk in and reach ins including but not limited to ricotta, Cream cheese, macaroni, romesco, cooked lobster, goat cheese, lettuce and tomato sets, and au gratin potatoes.
  • Observed no consumer advisory on bar menu “burger of the month” that PIC stated is offered undercooked.

#6 La Ceiba Bar and Grill

4400 CENTRAL AVE, Charlotte NC 28205
Scored 87 (B) on 5/12/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employees unable to recite symptoms or illnesses.
  • Observed no employee health policy with updated illness and return to work policy and restrictions.
  • Observed no written procedures.
  • Observed used scrub pads, utensils, and food residue at hand wash sinks.
  • Observed no paper towels at hand sink by 3 compartment sink.
  • Observed chicken final cook temperature below 165F.
  • Observed several bus tubs of cooked pork cold holding above 41F after cooling overnight.
  • Observed salsa for chips cold holding above 41F after cooling overnight.
  • Observed raw marinated chicken breast, raw marinated chicken wings, and Queso fresco cold holding above 41. PIC states chicken breast and Queso was prepared today and chicken wings were prepared 2 days ago.
  • Observed no date mark on chicken tacos.
  • Observed no date mark on Curtido and lettuce at flip top.

#5 Tupelo Honey Cafe

Scored 86.5 (B) on 5/6/2022 (rescored to 96 (A) on 5/17/2022)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed raw shrimp stored over ready to eat salsa in the walk in.
  • Observed several pans and lexan lids stored as clean with food debris.
  • Observed macaroni pasta noodles cooling in deep lexan after 2 hours still above 70F.
  • Observed milk gravy cooling in walk in cooler at 2 hours still above 70F. Gravy was recorded at well above 135F when first temp was taken.
  • Observed all prep top portions of coolers holding food at 42F-47F except the cut leafy greens were at 50F.
  • Facility hood is not properly functioning.

#4 Ivey’s Hotel

Scored 86.5 (B) on 5/11/2022 (rescored to 95 (A) on 5/18/2022)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed overall lack of control in facility evidenced by improper washing of dishes/lack of sanitizing of dishes, improper holding temperatures, lack of date marking, and food storage violations.
  • Observed no one on site is a certified food protection manager.
  • Observed unwashed berries stored in reach in cooler of Sophia’s kitchen and Sophia’s bar above ready to eat items.
  • Observed raw fish eggs (tobiko) stored over olives in reach in cooler.
  • Observed raw sausage patties stored behind ready to eat items in the cooler drawer.
  • Observed sanitizer at dish machine was at 0ppm chlorine. Chlorine bottle was empty.
  • Observed several stacks of plates with food debris remaining on them.
  • Observed crab cakes, fingerlings, and chicken prepared yesterday still cooling in cooler drawer.
  • Observed reach in cooler at the bar holding milk, cream cheese, and specialty milk above 41F.
  • Observed items overstacked in the prep top and stored in original containers so that products are not seated down into metal pans for proper cooling. Cooler is meant to be “work out of” refrigeration and the storage/holding items should be down in the cooler rather than stored in large containers where the product is fully exposed to ambient air.
  • Observed reach-in cooler in the prep kitchen holding items above 41F.
  • Observed no date mark on several items throughout facility including but not limited to mozzarella, sliced ham, cooked onions, spinach, milk, feta, and mascarpone cheese.
  • Observed goat cheese date marked for 4/16, and almond milk date marked 5/2 and 5/1.

#3 Costa Del Sol

Scored 86.5 (B) on 5/27/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employees making trips from the walk in unit and returning directly to prepping foods. Employees shall wash their hands in between acts that contaminate them such as these changing of tasks.
  • Observed main cook turn the faucet off with his bare hands during the inspection.
  • Hand wash sign missing at hand washing sink by the dish area.
  • Observed foods inside of the walk in cooler without any protective wrapping or lids.
  • Observed build up left attached to some metal pans, large plastic bins, and bus pans on air drying shelves.
  • Observed refried beans at waitress station at a temperature of 113F inside of steam table.
  • Observed a prep unit holding crema in a sauce bottle at a temperature of 43F.
  • Observed shelled eggs inside of the prep unit at 51F.
  • Observed build up around equipment throughout.

#2 The Mad Greek

Scored 77.5 (C) on 5/11/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed a number of primary foundation violations such as cold holding, cooking, date marking, hand washing, and bare hand contact.
  • When asked, employee was unable to find information on employee health policy in regard to signs and symptoms or 6 food borne illnesses.
  • No vomiting/diarrhea cleanup procedure available on site to handle occurrences.
  • Observed plastic water bottles stored on and above food contact surfaces.
  • Observed an employee return from storage in the exterior of the building and return to working without washing hands in between.
  • Observed an employee make multiple trips from walk in cooler and return not washing their hands.
  • Observed person in charge make bare hand contact with ready to eat chicken from the walk in unit during the inspection.
  • Upon arrival to inspection, observed no hand soap present at the hand washing sink.
  • Observed raw chicken and ground meat stored above lemons inside of the walk in cooler and ground meat over shrimp inside of reach in unit during the inspection.
  • Observed some plastic containers with build up and debris left attached from previous uses stored on air drying shelves as clean.
  • Observed fry slicer with notable debris. Recommended removal from wall to enable a thorough cleaning.
  • Observed microwave with visible debris from past days uses.
  • Observed ice machine white board with noticeable build up.
  • Observed chicken cooked on the grill not meet the final cook temperature of 160F.
  • Observed ranch dressing containing buttermilk made last night portioned in to single service cups not meet cooling parameters within 4 hours.
  • Observed chopped lettuce inside of prep unit at a temperature of 44F.
  • Observed ranch dressing containing buttermilk at a temperature of 47F.
  • Observed multiple items inside the prep unit without a date. Foods include deli ham, cooked pork, cooked chicken, and salad mixes.
  • Observed a chemical at disinfectant strength labeled as sanitizer.
  • Observed stainless steel cleaner directly beside tomatoes.
  • Observed grease from pressure washing being disposed of in to a creek.

#1 La Unica Supercenter

Scored 73.5 (C) on 5/26/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no managerial control over risk factors in kitchen.
  • Observed PIC with expired food protection certification.
  • Observed new employees that have recently joined location and no one has gone over health policy.
  • Observed employees wash hands without soap and water.
  • Observed employee start work and put on gloves without washing hands.
  • Observed in Tortilleria side where pound packages are prepared, employee handling already cooked tortillas and packaging with bare hands.
  • Observed cucumbers and employee coffee dumped in handsink and utensils stored in handsink in tortilleria area.
  • Observed watermelon that was washed and sliced sitting on shelving without being covered.
  • Observed thermometer that was not cleaned between uses and used Lysol to wipe thermometer.
  • Observed bowls plates and utensils stored with food debris and leftover sticker debris.
  • Observed dishes that were actively washed in 3 comp sink with sanitizer basin at 0ppm.
  • Observed chicken stock from the night before holding at 43F.
  • Observed white rice, yellow rice, and mix ground beef holding in display case below 135F.
  • Observed tamales that were in rice cooker below 135F.
  • Observed reach in unit closest to grill with ambient air of 46F and holding TCS items above 41F.
  • Observed 3 different types of chicharron, beef, and other prepared foods held over 7 days.
  • Observed pickled Cole slaw, milk, tamales, salsa verde, salsa Rojas, chicken stock, an other TCS items not dated.
  • Observed facility with raid container to handle pest issue.
  • Observed raw chicken stored in thank you plastic bag in reach in freezer.

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.