Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in May


Even though Charlotte’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 are the top 10 worst currently standing inspection scores in Mecklenburg County (some restaurants scored lower in May but were reinspected with higher scores before June 8th):

#10 Red Sea Ethiopian Cuisine

Scored 91 (A) on 5/3/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed scrub brush being stored in hand sink.
  • Observed raw beef being stored over cooked ready to eat foods (chicken and lamb).
  • Observed raw lamb being thawed above stove while cooked ready to eat foods were being held (uncovered).
  • Observed beets hot holding on stove below 135 degrees.
  • Observed raw beef being held at room temperature above 45 degrees.
  • Observed bottle of sanitizer not labeled.

#9 Dim Sum

Scored 90.5 (A) on 5/29/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee contact ready to eat crepe noodles with bare hands and begin to served.
  • Observed raw beef and eggs over lo mein in prep unit.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above raw shrimp and beef.
  • Observed knives and cleaver stored between prep unit and prep table with visible food debris and cleaver stored as clean on magnetic strip with visible food debris.
  • Observed lo mein cooling covered in prep unit at insufficient rate to meet cooling parameters.

#8 Diamond Restaurant

Scored 90 (A) on 5/25/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed salmon served undercooked on menu and no parasite destruction letter available.
  • Observed slicer in need of cleaning.
  • Observed feta cheese, milk and greens with no date labels in walk in cooler.
  • Observed salmon for add in at salad portion of menu and eggs on side section of late night menu in need of asterisk linking to consumer advisory.

#7 Fortune Cookie II

Scored 88.5 (B) on 5/16/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observe employee handle raw chicken and fail to wash hands after.
  • Observed improper handwashing from multiple employees including not using soap, not washing for 15 seconds.
  • Multiple containers of food such as brocc., mushrooms not covered/protected from physical contaminants.
  • Many food items recorded above 45F (see chart).
  • Multiple containers of cooked shrimp/lo mein/cabbage not dated.

#6 Rock Bottom Brewery

Scored 86.5 (B) on 5/3/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed hand sink near 3 compartment sink with food debris on bottom of basin.
  • Observed a whisk stored in the handsink near the drink station in the back area.
  • Observed ice in the bottom of the handsink in the front area drink station.
  • Observed handsink in the bar area without paper towels.
  • Observed cut melon stored under unwashed mushrooms and peppers in the walk in.
  • Observed cooling cut lettuce that was uncovered under unwashed mushrooms and peppers in walk in.
  • Observed sanitizer in 3 compartment sink at 50 ppm quat in basin set up for sanitizing.
  • Observed containers, tongs, and scoops stored as clean with debris on the items.
  • Observed ice machine with black build up inside near the chute.
  • Observed ice box in back drink station area with black build up.
  • Observed mash potatoes in steam well at less than 135F.
  • Observed items in 3 flip top/prep coolers in the grill line area holding items at less than 45F.
  • Observed honey mustard sauces dated 4/25.
  • Observed blue cheese dressing dated 4/29 holding at 44F.

#5 Zaxby’s #70

Scored 85.5 (B) on 5/9/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food employee not washing hands after handling personal phone and touching face. Food employee handled ready to eat bread using with same gloves.
  • Observed hand washing sink obstructed. Many dirty dishes and trash were left on the floor around hand sink.
  • Observed paper towel dispenser jammed, not dispensing paper towels.
  • Observed sanitizer concentration at sani buckets below 50ppm quat.
  • Observed lids stored as clean, with heavy debris.
  • Observed mixed salad above 56F at 6:10 pm. Food employees stated salad was prepared at 1:40 pm. Salad was in large covered containers and in a barrel.

#4 DoubleTree Restaurant

Scored 83.5 (B) on 5/8/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed food employee putting gloves on without washing hands after returning into the kitchen.
  • Observed food employee re-contaminate hands by closing faucet with bare hands, not using barrier.
  • Observed no paper towels provided at one of the two sinks (hand sink near grills).
  • Observed unwashed produce stored above cut, ready to eat fruit.
  • Observed raw chicken stored over raw beef.
  • Observed sanitizer concentration at sani bucket below 50ppm quat.
  • Observed potatoes hot holding below 135F.
  • Observed several foods at flip top and at customer self service line holding temperature above 45F.
  • Observed several items in walk in cooler without date mark. Items were prepared more than 24 hours prior to inspection.
  • Observed absence of consumer advisory for lox.
  • Observed bottle with clear liquid without label.

#3 Madras Cafe

Scored 82.5 (B) on 5/31/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed employee cooking Naan bread on flat grill, remove and handle cooked bread with bare hands.
  • Observed some black build up in ice machine.
  • Observed three 5 gallon buckets of Sambar (cooked vegetables stew) cooling approx. 3 hrs in walk in cooler at 74-76 degrees.
  • Observed fried cabbage dish on buffet at 119 degrees.
  • Observed spinach and cut tomatoes on buffet line at 66 degrees.
  • Observed a number of date mark required foods said to have been cooked 5 days ago and several foods cooked yesterday that were not date marked including but not limited to: tofu, spinach chutney, stewed vegetables, cooked potato dishes.

#2 Los Reyes Supermarket

Scored 79.5 (C) on 5/18/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed PIC failing to met provision of code related to temperatures, date marking etc.
  • Observed raw ribs and pork over ready to eat food in walk in cooler and raw chicken stored over pork in walk in.
  • Ice machine in need of cleaning.
  • Observed rice reheated for hot holding at less than 135 degrees in steam table.
  • Observed rice in lower prep unit two , yellow rice and chicken pieces in walk in cooled from last night and over 45 degrees see temperature chart above.
  • Observed carnitas in meat area hot holding at 110 degrees.
  • Observed salsa roja and salsa verde in front prep unit greater than 45 degree.
  • Observed requeson cheese in meat case , ham, head cheese, queso fresco with no date labels.
  • Observed no date on requeson cheese and date packaged could not be determined and one chub of ham dated 05-07-18 still in use in meat case.

#1 La Romero Taqueria and Juice Bar

Scored 76.5 (C) on 5/24/2018

They had the following critical violations;

  • Observed no control over handwashing, storage, cooling methods, temperatures, and allow worker from next door come in kitchen to make personal drink.
  • Observed employee with expired servsafe certificate.
  • Observed employees with little to no knowledge of the major illnesses and symptoms.
  • Observed employee wash hands in 3 comp sink.
  • Observed employee rinse hands in handsink and return to food prep.
  • Observed employee clean countertops and continue put on gloves to prepare food.
  • Observed employee handle cabbage with bare hands.
  • Observed employee rinse plastic container and aloe plant stored in handsink.
  • Observed no handwash signs at handsinks.
  • Observed raw hamburger stored above raw steak.
  • Observed crab legs, lengua, hot dogs, and other food items uncovered in facility.
  • Observed employees using gloves for more than one task.
  • Observed facility reheat rice in rice cooker and temperature only increased 30F after 1 hour.
  • Observed cabbage at 50F from the night before.
  • Observed prep top holding TCS items above 45F.
  • Observed hotdogs, cut cantelope, diced watermelon, cabbage, spinach, corn, milk, ham, shrimp, and yuca not dated.
  • Observed raw eggs that were undercooked on the menu and not asterisk. Also facility missing disclaimer (These items are raw or undercooked)
  • Observed soapy water, sanitizer, degreaser, window cleaner and other chemicals not labeled.
  • Observed corn in rice cooker that was stored on the floor.

As of June 8th, the above scores have not changed, but they can be increased (or decreased) at any time, as soon as they have a re-inspection.

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.