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

#10 El Tropico Restaurant

Scored 90 (A) on 11/14/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed a baby walking in and out of the kitchen on several occasions. Baby was removed.
  • Observed no CFPM manager in the facility during inspection.
  • Observed employee touched cooked food ready to be served with barehands.
  • Observed no paper towel at sink during inspection.
  • Observed all food in the WI at temperatures above 41F. CDI. PIC indicated that the circuit breaker tripped and was repaired.

#9 Maple Street Biscuit Company

Scored 90 (A) on 11/7/2022

They had the following violations;

  • PIC onsite at time of inspection did not have certified food protection manager training.
  • One personal beverage observed stored on a prep table in the back prep area.
  • Observed employee crack raw eggs at the grill, remove gloves, and then move to put on new gloves and begin a new task.
  • Observed hand washing sink at the chicken breading station blocked with a cart.
  • Observed the interior of the ice machine with residue. Clean the interior of the ice machine.
  • Observed the ice machine dispensing area at the lobby drink machine collecting mold.
  • Observed raw chicken tenders cooked to 155 F in some parts of the chicken.
  • Observed egg whites stored on the biscuit table at 71F. CDI, product discarded.
  • Observed one sauce with date marking discard date of 10/31.
  • Observed sanitizer bottles with no label.

#8 Park Place Restaurant 

Scored 90 (A) on 11/23/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed two food employee unable to tell EHS the six reportable foodborne illnesses and symptoms.
  • Observed an employee go inside of the walk in cooler and return to working on the main line without washing hands and changing gloves in between.
  • Observed a team member handling cracked eggs and continue to work on the line without the changing of gloves.
  • Observed hand washing sink in the front of house without handwashing sign present. Hand washing sign provided during the inspection.
  • Observed freezer burned food(beef tips)(meat loaf) inside of the walk in cooler.
  • Observed shelled eggs stored over pancake batter inside of reach in refrigerator.
  • Observed team members actively washing dishes in dish machine without santizing due to the dish machine sanitizer bucket not being changed when empty.
  • Observed lettuce in walk in cooler without any degree of change in between two readings over a time period of 41 mins. In order for food to meet cooling over 41 mins, food would have to drop a total of 5F.
  • Observed potatoes with only 3F temperature change over 40 minutes.
  • Observed foods inside of reach in unit and prep unit above temperature threshold of 41F.
  • Observed foods prepared days prior without date markings present. Foods include BBQ pork and tuna.

#7 East Towne

Scored 89.5 (B) on 11/23/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed dirty wall in the restroom
  • Observed broken faucet at the hand sink
  • Observed very little to empty bottle of disinfectant solution in one of the hall bath.
  • Observed drain flies throughout the facility.

#6 Thai House

Scored 88.5 (B) on 11/22/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee relocated garbage can then proceed to handle clean utensils for for preparation.
  • Observed food employee pick up soiled box from ground then proceed too handle clean equipment and food preparation.
  • Observed raw pork stored over RTE foods in reach in prep refrigerator.
  • Observed some plastic and metal containers stored as clean but soiled with food residues.
  • Observed beef cooked to 107 using non continuous cooking and PIC did not have approved procedures.
  • Observed container of tomatoes with incorrect date.
  • Observed spray bottle of cleaner not labeled.

#5 Popeyes

Scored 88 (B) on 11/7/2022 (rescored to 94 on 11/16)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed a pattern of non-compliance and failure of PIC to ensure employees are complying with the Food Code.
  • Observed employee just reporting for shift not wash her hands before handling foods
  • Observed employee touching his nose and not wash his hands before handling food.
  • Observed employee switch from raw chicken breading station to taking cooked chicken out of fryer without washing his hands.
  • Observed no paper towels at 2 handsinks in kitchen and women bathroom
  • Observed buildup in ice machine.
  • Observed 24 large pans of chicken and 20 boxes in WIC at 44F – 49F.
  • Observed spray bottle of bathroom cleaner stored directly above single service to-go containers
  • Observed several flying insects in dry storage area.

#4 Mortons The Steakhouse

Scored 88 (B) on 11/22/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no paper towels available for drying hands at hand sink on the line.
  • Observed handwashing sink on the line blocked by cart.
  • Observed blueberries in reach in cooler with microbial growth on them.
  • Observed raw scallops and raw shrimp stored over ready to eat prosciutto and cheese sets in reach in cooler.
  • Observed unwashed produce stored over ready to eat produce and cheeses in walk in cooler.
  • Observed quat sanitizer at dispenser of 3-comp sink at 0ppm.
  • Observed cooked Brussels sprouts cooling in WIC at 73F. Per chef, brussel sprouts were completed in the morning but he was unsure of what time.
  • Observed several items in various coolers more than 7 days old including au poivre (11/12), cauliflower mash (11/12), shrimp (11/12), lobster (11/15), and shrimp (11/15).
  • Observed no time marked on charred lemons that were held at room temperature during service.
  • Observed unwashed berries stored on line ready for use with desserts.

#3 Triveni Express 

Scored 88 (B) on 11/14/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed several employee personal water bottles stored in kitchen over prep counters.
  • Observed PIC not washing hands after coughing.
  • Observed unwashed produce being stored above ready to eat foods in WIC.
  • Observed several containers of food throughout kitchen without covers.
  • Observed several pans, metal food containers and utensils with build up of food soil being stored as clean.
  • Observed two containers of Paneer sauce cooling in WIC since yesterday with a temperature of 54F.
  • Observed a pan of chicken at hot holding table being held at 94F.
  • Observed dahl held at 46F in RIC, yogurt held at 52F in RIC, chutney held at 49F in RIC, milk being held at 70F on counter, and eggs being held at 100F near grill.
  • Observed 2 bags of cooked chicken being stored in WIC with date marks that expired on 11/12.
  • Observed employee medication bottle being stored on shelf directly above prep counter.

#2 Cheddar’s 

Scored 87.5 (B) on 11/16/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed raw burgers stored on prep table where Alfredo sauce was being portioned and bagged for chilling.
  • Observed dish plate coming out from 152-156F.
  • Observed mushrooms, broccoli casserole, and fries holding below 135F.
  • Observed lettuce in prep top at 56F.
  • Observed facility reheat bagged items for hot holding but did not recording the hot holding CCP for the day, employee actively bagging Alfredo sauce and no logs available to record initial and cooling temperatures and no am temperatures taken of bagged items in walk in.
  • Observed white storage racks in walk in and interior of reach ins soiled with debris.

#1 Truc Vietnamese Cuisine

Scored 86 (B) on 11/16/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no written procedures for cleaning vomit/diarrheal events.
  • Observed opened employee beverages on prep tables and in cold holding equipment.
  • Observed employee rinsing food utensils in handwashing sink.
  • Observed raw shell eggs stored above ready to eat vegetables and beverages in reach in cooler.
  • Observed rice pots, meat slicers, and utensils stored as clean with build up of food residues and debris.
  • Observed fry baskets, tongs, and utensils with build up of food deposits and oil.
  • Observed sprouts in flip top cooler holding at 45F. Observed garlic in oil mixture holding at room temperatures.
  • Observed no date marking on TCS foods throughout establishment.

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.