Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in October 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 October:

#10 Hef’s Bar & Grill 

Scored 88 (B) on 10/17/2019 (rescored to 97 on 10/23)

They had the following violations;

  • Employees observed touching soiled dishes with gloves then changing gloves without washing hands in between.
  • Employees observed washing hands then proceeding to turn off faucet handles with bare hands.
  • Raw lobster, eggs and shrimp observed over ready to eat potatoes and celery in walk-in cooler. Ahi tuna observed raw over cooked corn and potatoes in reach-in cooler.
  • Multiple stacks of plates and bowls observed with leftover food debris on them that were deemed clean. When new dishes were added to the clean stack, they were also observed with food debris.
  • Chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and pasta cooling from night prior to inspection found above 41F.
  • Multiple foods observed cold holding above 41F.
  • Several foods at flip top prep unit taken from walk-in cooler from days before inspection found with no date marking. Foods are being held in flip top coolers overnight after service.

#9 Rockin Rolls Sushi Express

Scored 87.5 (B) on 10/17/2019 (rescored to 96 on 10/29)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed multiple food employees leaving tasks and handling soiled handles throughout kitchen then returning to food preparation without changing gloves and washing hands.
  • Observed raw eggs over ready to eat sauce in bottom of large prep unit on cook line and raw beef, eggs and fish over avocados in walk in cooler
  • Observed multiple stacked utensils with light food residue or debris on them.
  • Observed PIC did not know when the sushi roller had been washed rinsed and sanitized last.
  • Observed cooked sushi rolls and shrimp tempura at 45F.
  • Observed multiple TCS foods with no date mark
  • Observed sushi rice tiem labeled at 1030 am placed on plates color coded for 11 and the 12p paltes(blue) not in use at 1230. Facility not following their written TPHC procedures.

#8 Rebecas Deli 

Scored 87.5 (B) on 10/30/2019 (rescored to 92.5 on 11/5)

They had the following critical violations;

  • Soap missing at multiple handsinks.
  • Several foods in walk-in cooler including raw fish, ready to eat cooked pork, raw chicken, and raw eggs being stored improperly. Foods must be stored according to final cook temperature.
  • Slicer observed with lettuce debris from night before inspection and is not being cleaning frequently enough.
  • Cooked pork found in walk-in cooler cooked last night at 54F.
  • Ensure including the first day of prep, the foods get a total of 7 days before discarding. Multiple items including cooked beans, rice, chicken, pork, ground pork, and cut cabbage found from previous prep dates with no date marking. Items are being cooked and place in freezer for weeks without date marking.
  • Observed cut lettuce in standing water in flip top.
  • Containers of uncooked beans and oil being stored on the floor near walk-in cooler.

#7 Terrace Cafe of Ballantyne

Scored 87.5 (B) on 10/8/2019 (rescored to 96.5 on 11/1)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no one present during inspection that is certified as a food protection manager.
  • Observed two employee drinks sitting on prep top unit counter.
  • Observed several metal/plastic containers and bar glasses soiled with debris but stored as clean.
  • Observed large plastic container of Hawaiian salad drop only 3 degrees in 40 minutes, at a rate of 0.075 degrees per minute. Items cooling from room temperature should be cooling at 0.12 degrees per minute.
  • Observed all TCS items in prep unit closest to handsink maintaining temperatures between 55F-60F. See chart above. Facility has had several problems with the same unit in past inspections. This is the 4th consecutive cold holding violation.
  • Observed cut lettuce, chicken salad, sausage patties, and opened gallon of milk without datemarking.
  • Observed spring mix with old label still on container (9/26-9/29), sausage patties dated 10/6-10/16, turkey dated 10/9-10/16, and sausage bits, cut tomatoes, turkey bacon, shrimp all dated 10/9-10/14. Today is 10/8.

#6 Chicken King

Scored 85.5 (B) on 10/9/2019 (rescored to 92 on 10/24)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed food employee touch hat with gloved hands and then proceed to do food prep without glove changing or hand washing in between. Also observed food employee touch raw burgers with gloved hand and then proceed to touch salt shakers and other prep items without hand washing or gloved changing.
  • Observed food employee use gloved hands to touch raw burgers and then proceed to continue to food prep without glove changing or hand washing in between.
  • Observed heavy food buildup along the interior of the slicer.
  • Observed dishes that were stored as cleaned soiled to touch. Ensure that utensils are washed as frequent as every 4 hours and also ensure all food contact surfaces are cleaned to sight and touch.
  • Large cups of house made ranch cups were cold holding at 53 degrees inside of the 1 door display unit. Also observed boiled eggs, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese cold holding in between 42-46 degrees on flip top and in reach in cold hold unit.
  • Observed large containers of potatoes salad, and cole slaw with dates that exceed 7 day hold time. Also observed sliced deli meat with expired date marks.

#5 Bojangles #1114

Scored 85.5 (B) on 10/31/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed an employee’s drink stored on the prep sink under the tea urn and a drink stored on top of the ansul system above the chicken fryer.
  • Observed several employee’s washing their hands for less than 15-20 seconds.
  • Observed an employee wash hands, then take a towel and wipe sweat on his face and then return to work without washing hands again.
  • Observed no paper towels at the hand sink by the walk in cooler at the start of the inspection.
  • Observed a missing hand washing sign in the women’s restroom.
  • Observed black build up on the shield of the ice machine; clean ice machine.
  • Observed 2 pans with food debris and grease stored as clean.
  • Observed liquid eggs above 41F.
  • Observed all items in the prep unit holding above 41F on the cook line.
  • Time was not posted on the fries at the start of the inspection.

#4 Pho Ngon 

Scored 85 (B) on 10/22/2019 (rescored to 95.5 on 10/24)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed duties of PIC not being performed due to lack of cold holding and lack of hot water.
  • Observed hot water out handwash unable to reach 100 degrees. Facility voluntarily closed.
  • Observed raw steak over rice noodles and raw shrimp over cooked beef tendon. C
  • Observed slicer in stored as clean with visible food debris.
  • Observed spicy soup cooled from last night still at 47 degrees.
  • Observed prep unit 1 and 3 unable to maintain proper temperatures according to PIC due to hood malfunction heating kitchen temperature in excess of parameters for prep units.
  • Observed side of raw or rare beef without reminder linking product to consumer advisory.

#3 Wang & King Asian Cafe

Scored 84 (B) on 10/25/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed personal beverages with no lids stored in prep areas.
  • Observed PIC wash hands and use same hands to turn knobs off without any protective restraint. Also observed food employee touch hair and then proceed to food prep without hand washing in between.
  • Facility is lacking hand washing sink in sushi prep area.
  • Observed blue crabs located in bags on the floor in the freezer.
  • Observed unwashed produce being stored over ready to eat produce(cabbage) in walk in cooler. Also observed raw beef being stored over sauce containers inside of reach in 2 door unit.
  • Observed raw shrimp being prepped in the same proximity as soiled dishes in 3 comp sink. Utilization of the permitted prep sinks are advised to ensure that any cross contamination is prevented.
  • Dish machine was unable to dispense adequate chlorine sanitizer. Chemical provider made a site visit to ensure that dish machine has been serviced and is now adequately working and properly dispensing.
  • Observed food employee use prep sink used for food prep to wash soiled pot without rinsing or sanitizing. Proper dish washing methods were given to employee for long term compliance.
  • Observed wd-40 onsite during the inspection. PIC stated that they use the WD-40 as a lubricant for the slicer.

#2 The Bistro 

Scored 83.5 (B) on 10/16/2019

They had the following violations;

  • Observed tray of raw bacon stored above ready to eat muffins in walk in cooler.
  • Observed soiled knife, scoop, plate cover, lid stored as clean. Also observed sticker residue on several of the in-use pans/lids and some of the pans/lids stored as clean.
  • Observed ice machine showing black residue on white plastic deflector.
  • Observed tomato soup and marinara sauce prepared from room temperature ingredients at 4:55 were not changed in temperature by 5:45. Both were stored in covered deep pans and in the reach in cooler. Soup and sauce moved to shallow metal pans and placed, uncovered, in walk in cooler where they cooled to 41F in less than an hour.
  • Observed pot pie filling measuring 42F in reach in cooler, all items in lower right cold drawer measuring 47F-50F.
  • Observed opened but undated TCS ready to eat foods – ricotta cheese, goat cheese, cut melon x2, cooked chicken, breakfast burrito, cooked sausage, scrambled eggs, and cut lettuce. All were voluntarily discarded.
  • Observed expired foods in storage – pasta salad 10/7, hard boiled eggs 9/24, turkey 10/2, ricotta cheese 10/9, roasted tomatoes 10/8, arugula 10/9. All were voluntarily discarded.
  • Observed can of household RAID! pest spray stored on chemical shelf next to 3 compartment sink.

#1 Cottage 

Scored 83 (B) on 10/24/2019 (rescored to 90 on 10/31)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC wash hands then turn of faucet with barehands, recontaminating them.
  • Observed food employee touch trash, then go back to food preparation.
  • Observed food employee washing dishes in the handsink.
  • Observed knives stored clean on a hanger, 3 knives were soiled, when knives were removed from their spot, roaches were behind it.
  • Observed food employee using running water and soap. Sink was not filled with soapy water.
  • Observed food employee washing dishes without a sanitizing step.
  • Observed ice machine with black build-up.
  • Obserevd 6 dented cans of tomatoes and soy sauce. PIC did not understand the dangers of dented cans.
  • Observed cooked chicken, cabbage, and large containers of noodles all without datemarks.
  • Observed working bottle of degreaser with no label.

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.