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

#10 Sushi 101

Scored 90.5 (A) on 10/5/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed chicken breast, sliced squid, shredded lettuce, tossed salad, tuna, salmon, shrimp, cream cheese, and crab sticks that were stored above 41 F. Chicken breast, sliced squid, shredded lettuce and tossed salad were stored in the walk-in cooler. Other items were stored in sushi display cooler for one hour before being stored in small cooler.
  • Observed container of Cajun egg rolls that were not dated.
  • Observed container of cheesecake rolls that were dated 9-13-22.
  • Observed sushi rice that was not marked with time in stamp.
  • Ambient air of Walk-in cooler reading was 53 F.

#9 Famous Toastery 

Scored 90.5 (A) on 10/28/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC did not have active control of kitchen.
  • Observed line cook not washing hand at frequency to prevent contamination and between glove changes.
  • Observed employees handling dirty dishes and going back to work with food without hand wash or glove change.
  • Observed front hand sink being used as a dump sink.
  • Observed hand sink near dish machine missing soap dispenser and no soap available.
  • Observed paper towel dispenser at hand sink near grill missing and paper towel hung on gas lines.
  • Observed raw steak over ready to eat foods in prep unit near grill.
  • Observed unwashed produce over ready to eat berries in walk in cooler.
  • Observed ice machine in need of cleaning.
  • Observed lettuce over stacked in prep unit at greater than 41 degrees.
  • Observed facility holding pasteurized eggs and pooled eggs on tphc without written procedure.
  • Observed raw salmon not on menu still available without consumer advisory.

#8 First Watch

Scored 89.5 (B) on 10/27/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employee drinks stored on and over prep tables, drinks on the supply shelving in warewashing area and prep area.
  • Observed food handler at the cookline opening the reach in cooler a few times and grabbing cut tomatoes and then plating a cooked omelette then folding the omelette with their gloved hand, observed this a couple times.
  • Observed no handsoap at the warewashing handsink and the front prep line handwash sink.
  • Observed unwashed boxed produce stored over ready-to-eat foods in walk in cooler.
  • Observed “clean” potato slicer with food debris.
  • Observed “clean” plastic cups for storage of eggs at the cookline with visible residue.
  • Observed pancake mixture on the top prep cooler temped above 41F.
  • Observed mixed greens at the prep top cooler temped above 41F.
  • Observed the following expired TCS foods: water chestnuts(10/11), cajun chicken (10/20), black beans (10/18), honeydew (two prep dates on product), roasted carrots (10/4) and observed the following without dates: black beans, feta, hard boiled eggs, chicken salad.
  • Observed unlabeled spray bottle of yellow liquid cleaner at the front hostess counter.

#7 Shun Lee Palace

Scored 87.5 (B) on 10/6/2022 (rescored to 91 on 10/26)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed employees wearing gloves to do tasks not involving food preparation and not washing hands and changing gloves before engaging in food preparation tasks.
  • Observed raw shrimp and raw eggs stored over ready-to-eat sauces in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed container of chicken uncovered in reach-in freezer.
  • Observed dish machine sanitizer concentration at 0ppm chlorine.
  • Observed sanitizer concentration of 0ppm chlorine in sanitizer bay of 3 compartment sink.
  • Observed corrected chlorine concentration for dish machine and 3 compartment sink.
  • Observed cutting boards stored clean with visible food debris.

#6 Lulu’s Maryland Style Chicken and Seafood

Scored 87.5 (B) on 10/24/2022 

They had the following violations;

  • No manager present at establishment during inspection.
  • Employee food and beverages observed on prep table at start of inspection.
  • Employee observed handling cell phone and went began straining ice out of raw shrimp.
  • No paper towels at both hand washing sinks in kitchen.
  • Several large mixing bowls, food pans, strainer, scoops and other utensils, and plates found stored as clean but had visible food or grease residue on them. Can opener blade also had visible multi-day buildup on it.
  • Collard greens (109F), green beans (125F), and rice (108F) were below 135F in hot hold cabinet.
  • Raw catfish in sandwich cooler top measured 51F.
  • Vacuum packages of raw salmon measured 50-52F in ice bath that was mostly melted.
  • Reach-in freezer was off, but a bag of fries was stored in it at 67F.
  • Large container of collard greens in walk-in cooler measured 47F.
  • Container of feta cheese missing date label in walk-in cooler.
  • Sanitizer bucket stored directly on top of container of sugar.

#5 Rincon Latino Restaurante

Scored 87 (B) on 10/7/2022 (rescored to 97 on 10/18)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no PIC on site, the manager knew very little about food safety.
  • Observed FE go from grabbing raw chicken and beef, cooking them, then they went to the WIC and grabbed and tomatoe and was about to wash and cut it.
  • Upon entrance EHS observed 2 different employees cutting cilantro, touching tostadas, and making pico all without gloves.
  • Observed cooked oxtail in a large metal container covered at 46F, it was full enough to be over the brim.
  • Observed 2 DM from 9/26 and 9/27.
  • Observed no asterisk, advosiry or disclosure on the menu for undercooked eggs.
  • Observed a can of raid in the kitchen.

#4 NC Tavern

Scored 87 (B) on 10/27/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC without knowledge of the holding process for chickens wings.
  • Observed tag not stored with oysters.
  • Observed containers of tomatoes and lettuce cooling at a rate of .01.
  • Observed cheese, sour cream and chicken in the prep top holding above 41F.
  • Observed no time procedures for chicken wings.
  • Observed no time stamp for wings on TPHC.
  • Observed sour creams and cheeses over stacked in the prep top area.

#3 Diamond Restaurant 

Scored 85.5 (B) on 10/12/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Employee observed cleaning out pre-rinse sink and then went to putting away a clean dish without washing hands.
  • Employee observed handling cell phone and went straight to donning gloves to fry food without washing hands.
  • Another employee drank from a cup with no lid and straw and did not wash hands before preparing food.
  • Dish machine is not dispensing sanitizer. Establishment was using it to wash dishes.
  • Can opener blade and mixer bowl had visible buildup in them and need to be cleaned.
  • Utensils and food-contact equipment must be cleaned to sight and touch.
  • Vegan chili (44F), marinara (48F), and black eyed peas (55F) were still above 41F after cooling overnight.
  • Mashed potatoes at steam table measured 117F.
  • Sauteed onions, cooked peppers, bucket of feta cheese, and cole slaw missing date labels.
  • Sloppy joe mix (9-27), spaghetti (10-4), and tuna salad (10-3) were past 7 days old.
  • Live small roach observed mop sink.

#2 Crab Du Jour

Scored 85.5 (B) on 10/26/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed issues with cold holding, cooling time and temperature, cooling procedures, food contact, handwashing violations, and date marking.
  • Observed an employee use cell phone then change gloves and prepare foods without hand washing prior.
  • Observed raw, frozen oysters in the shell, being thawed and used with multiple tags stored inside of one box.
  • Observed older oyster tags saved with one number on the tag.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above crabs and oysters.
  • Observed food contact surfaces with food debris left attached and labels attached.
  • Observed ice machine with excessive build up left attached to walls and divider board.
  • Observed unsalted butter in ice bath cooling after 36 minutes only drop 7F. In order to meet cooling, unsalted butter would have to drop a total of 19.44F in 36 minutes.
  • Observed lettuce, chicken wings, and lobster tails all held above 41F.
  • Observed 4 kettle sized containers of soup prepared the day before without datemarking present.
  • Observed degreaser stored in a secondary bottle without label attached.

#1 Las Meras Tortas 

Scored 77.5 (C) on 10/26/2022

They had the following violations;

  • Observed lack of Active Managerial Control(AMC) during inspection due to several critical violations and repeat violations.
  • Observed employees handling to-go boxes, using the phone, handling cash, and not washing their hands before donning gloves to prepare food.
  • Observed paper towel dispenser in poor repair/EHS unable to dispense paper towels at front hand sink.
  • Observed clogged hand sink in back of kitchen – soiled water standing in sink causing splash and staff unable to use.
  • Observed raw bacon stored above cilantro and lettuce in walk-in cooler.
  • Observed employee beverages stored inside ice in ice machine.
  • Observed high levels of chlorine sanitizer at three compartment sink and in red sanitizer buckets- 200+ppm.
  • Observed immersion blender stored as clean soiled with food waste.
  • Observed raw breaded beef not meeting cooling parameters in walk-in freezer.
  • Observed chicken not meeting cooling parameters in walk-in freezer.
  • Observed tamales and cheesy peppers being held below 135F in front counter steam well/heat lamp.
  • Observed hot dogs being held above 41F in flip top portion of make table.
  • Observed several TCS foods being held in bulk containers in walk-in cooler with no date labels(beans, beef, lettuce, salsa, slaw, tomatoes).
  • Observed raw breaded beef and cooked chicken cooling in plastic bus tubs covered with lids in walk-in freezer.
  • Observed shelving throughout facility soiled with food waste(dry storage, dish storage, walk-in cooler).
  • Observed gaskets throughout facility soiled with food waste(make table, reach in cooler, walk-in cooler).
  • Observed outside of ice machine soiled with food waste and sticker/white covering.
  • Observed food splash on walls around small prep table next to walk-in cooler.

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.