Janine Davis

(Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images)

It’s a list you don’t likely want to be on if you are a restauranteur. The Mecklenburg County Public Health Department (as reported on Charlotte Stories)  has released its list of restaurants that received low inspection scores in October 2022.

There is not a lack of restaurants and eateries in the Charlotte area. But, with the variety, there appears to be less attention on health standards. Health inspectors indicate various reasons for low scores. They include food handlers NOT washing their hands properly, contaminated food containers and/or improper food temperatures.

No matter the specifics, these are 10 Charlotte restaurants whose inspection scores are a bit subpar. Each one has a plethora of violations. We list a few violations, but to view a more detailed report, CLICK HERE.

  • Las Meras Tortas (Score 77.5 = C)

    • 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.
  • Crab Du Jour (Score 85.5 = B)

    • 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.
  • Diamond Restaurant ( Score 85.5 = B)

    • 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.
  • NC Tavern (Score 87 = B)

    • 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.
  • Rincon Latino Restaurante (Score 87, then rescored 97 = A)

    • 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 tomato and was about to wash and cut it.
    • Observed cooked oxtail in a large metal container covered at 46F, it was full enough to be over the brim.
  • Lulu's Maryland Style Chicken And Seafood (Score 87.5 = B)

    • 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.
  • Shun Lee Palace (Score 87.5; Rescored 91 = A)

    • 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.



  • First Watch (Score 89.5 = B)

    • 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.
  • Famous Toastery (Score 90.5 = A)

    • 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.
  • Sushi 101 (Score 90.5 = A)

    • 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.

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