Charlotte’s 10 Worst Restaurant Health Scores in January 2024

As Charlotte’s restaurant selection continues to grow, many establishments are scrambling to attract customers and really letting their health standards slide in the process.

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 January 2024;

#10 American Deli

Scored 87 (B) on 1/26/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed several risk factor violations within the facility.
  • Observed facility without CFPM on site.
  • Observed raw eggs stored over vegetables in the walk in cooler.
  • Observed slicer and other dishes soiled with old food debris.
  • Observed thermometer sticky with residue.
  • Observed cheese, lettuce, turkey in prep top unit holding above 41F.

#9 9 Spices Indian Cuisine

Scored 87 (B) on 1/4/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed raw chicken stored over ginger in walk in cooler.
  • Observed low temperature dish machine sanitizer testing 0ppm at dish machine.
  • Observed potatoes cooling at 117 degrees F at beginning of inspection in large deep container. Potato remained at 117 and cooling calculation indicated method not effective to reach cooling parameters.
  • Observed fried onion at buffet at 108 degrees F.
  • Observed melted unsalted butter held on prep table.
  • Observed milk based drink prepared 2 days ago according to PIC not date marked.
  • Observed goat, lamb and chicken with date of preparation of 12/28 in walk in cooler.
  • Observed unlabeled chemical bottle stored on clean drain board of dish machine.

#8 Wendy’s

Scored 87 (B) on 1/24/2024 (rescored to 98 on 1/30)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC not demonstrate managerial control.
  • Observed priority items violations.
  • Observed employee turn water off with clean hands and proceed to handle clean dishes.
  • Observed food employee change gloves without washing their hands.
  • Observed employee wash their hands for less than 20 seconds.
  • Observed no paper towels at front handwashing sink.
  • Observed cheese sauce being HH at 110F.
  • Observed several TCS foods in prep top above 41F.
  • Observed raw hamburgers in meat cooler above 41F.
  • Observed cut tomatoes and Shredded cheese not date marked.


Scored 86.5 (B) on 1/30/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed no certified food protection manager for first half of the inspection.
  • Observed the kit but no written procedures for proper clean up.
  • Observed employee grab food from fryer and eat while in the kitchen.
  • Observed ice dumped in front waitstaff handsink and knives stored in side.
  • Observed raw shell eggs above RTE diced tomatoes and hams in reach in, raw turkey sausage stored above smoked sausage, and raw salmon above RTE food in walk in.
  • Observed plates and utensils on cook line that were soiled with debris.
  • Observed sanitizer buckets in kitchen that were at 0ppm of lactic acid sanitizer.
  • Observed portioned pot roast that was cooling from 10am that was at 45-47F.
  • Observed waitstaff serving prep unit that was holding TCS items above 45F.
  • Observed butter in ice bath that was not fully submerged at 62F.
  • Observed facility with hashbrowns that were out of temperature and not at temperature in cartons.
  • Observed a bottle of raid inside of the managers office.

#6 Mr Charles Chicken and Fish Uptown

Scored 86.5 (B) on 1/26/2024 (rescored to 96.5 on 2/2)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed multiple risk factor violations during inspection.
  • Observed PIC and food employee wash hands and not use a barrier to rewash hands, thus decontaminating hands.
  • Observed food employee handle raw fish and then touch seasoning container and touch bag of flour without washing hands.
  • Observed food employee open fridge after touching raw chicken.
  • Observed food employee handle soiled dishes and then handle clean dishes without washing hands in between.
  • Observed food employee wash hands for less than 20 seconds.
  • Observed PIC use bare hands to check temperature of gravy reheating on stove.
  • Observed cart stored in front of handwashing sink near dish machine.
  • Observed other items stored in front of handwashing sink near fry line.
  • Observed no soap at handwashing sink in men’s bathroom.
  • Observed raw shell eggs over potato salad, muffin containing raw eggs stored over lemonade, raw shell eggs over tartar sauce and raw liver stored over greens in WIC.
  • Observed raw chicken wings stored over potatoes on prep table.
  • Observed food employee washing dishes at 3-compartment sink without using a final sanitizing method.
  • Observed items reheating in steam cabinet with little change in temperature after an hour.
  • Observed container of yams prepared last night in WIC at 80F.
  • Observed shelving rack from WIC with multiple TCS items being used to prop door open of WIC above 41F.
  • Observed items in WIC above 41F.
  • Observed items in chicken RI cooler above 41F.
  • Observed raw chicken and cheese delivered today left out at ambient air for over an hour while inspection was being conducted.
  • Observed chili, yams and greens in WIC with no date.
  • Observed no written procedures for items (Cole slaw, potato salad and milk) being held on TPHC.
  • Observed milk, potato salad and Cole slaw being held on TPHC with no time stamp.
  • Observed multiple spray bottles throughout facility with no labels.

#5 Mac’s Speed Shop

Scored 86 (B) on 1/26/2024 (rescored to 90.5 on 2/2)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed the following Priority items out during inspection: Hands clean and properly washed, food contact surfaces properly cleaned and sanitized, reheating, cooling, hot holding, cold holding, expired date marking.
  • Observed an uncovered drink on the prep line.
  • Observed food employee change gloves without a hand wash in between.
  • Observed chlorine sanitizer at dish machine to test at 0 ppm.
  • Observed inside cavity of microwave with heavy build up and residue.
  • Observed protein based sauces reheating on flat top and not achieving 165F in the two hour window.
  • Observed brisket holding above 70F after two hours of cooling.
  • Observed ribs in hot hold holding below 135F. PIC facilitated quickly reheating to 165F.
  • Observed multiple items throughout on cold drawer and one prep top not holding 41F and below.
  • Observed ambient in bottom cold drawer holding above 41F.
  • Observed several items in the WIC on the cooling racks with out date marks upon arrival that when questioned, were made days prior.
  • Observed a cut tomato and onion guacamole starter with date mark of 1/17, 3 days expired.

#4 Fonda La Taquiza

Scored 86 (B) on 1/11/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed multiple foodborne illness risk factors out of compliance including shellstock tag retention, cooling of food, monitoring temperatures during cooling and holding, cold and hot holding issues, burgers on children’s menu offered undercooked, items lacking date mark labels, and storage order issues.
  • Observed employee health policy in facility but no signed copies maintained.
  • Observed three shell stock tags from December lacking a date for when the last shellstock was used from the container.
  • Observed shrimp and tilapia offered denoted with an asterisk on menus to be offered raw or undercooked. No parasite destruction letters available in facility for these items.
  • Observed raw chicken stored above raw pork and raw beef in lowboy portion of two door flip top prep unit.
  • Observed cheeseburger on kids menu denoted by asterisk to be offered raw or undercooked.
  • Observed pinto beans and carne asada holding above 41F in walk-in cooler from cooling overnight (see temperature chart).
  • Observed pan of jalapeños and onions holding below 135F stored on top of steam table (see temperature chart).
  • Observed various TCS items holding above 41F in both flip top prep units (see temperature chart).
  • Observed chicken, barbacoa, and cooked cactus stored in WIC lacking date mark labels.
  • Observed three spray bottles of degreaser and one spray bottle of sanitizer lacking labels.

#3 Taqueria Gaviota Latina

Scored 85.5 (B) on 1/22/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed PIC wash hands for less than 20 seconds.
  • Observed PIC and food employee wash hands and not use a barrier to turn off the faucet thus recontaminating hands.
  • Observed stool in front of handwashing sink.
  • Observed raw eggs stored over water bottles.
  • Observed debris and dishes greasy to the touch on dishes stored as clean.
  • Observed al pastor and asada in RI above 41F.
  • Observed Housemade tomatillo and salsa roja above 41F.
  • Observed al pastor date marked 1/3 (discard 1/9), chorizo 12/28 (discard 1/3).
  • Observed chicken and pork tamales with no date mark.
  • Observed frozen tamales and chicken with no date marks.
  • Observed spray bottle with no label. PIC unsure of contents of bottle.

#2 Waffle House

Scored 85.5 (B) on 1/26/2024

They had the following violations;

  • Observed 2 open employee water bottles and coffee cup in kitchen and storage area.
  • Observed cooks not wash their hands after contaminating them by cracking eggs, wiping hands on face and cloths, leaving station and going in the back and returning to grill.
  • Observed no handwashing sign in men restroom and the sign in women restroom is torn in half.
  • Observed one head of lettuce in WIC with mold on it.
  • Observed sliced tomatoes in prep top above 41F. Pan was filled too high.
  • Observed sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and chili in reach in not date marked. Also observed 2 open containers of milk in reach in not date marked.

#1 Chicken King

Scored 85.5 (B) on 1/02/2024 (rescored to 90 on 1/10)

They had the following violations;

  • Observed open employee beverage stored on expo line where food is stored.
  • Observed employee handle raw beef and then immediately open a package of RTE hotdogs.
  • Observed employee handling and moving rubber floor mats, rinse hands at prep sink without soap and continue to move clean equipment and utensils.
  • Observed employee “wash” hands at prep sink without soap.
  • Observed inoperable hand sink, as it was unable to drain.
  • Observed employee handle raw ground beef and then proceed to opening package of RTE hotdogs.
  • Observed cut carrot stored directly on wire shelf.
  • Observed unwashed produce, squash and berries, stored over RTE sauces and cut greens.
  • Observed large slicer soiled with food debris.
  • Observed employee use thermometer to take final cook temperature of a hamburger patty without cleaning or sanitizing probe.
  • Observed no stoppers available to maintain sanitizer solution at 3 comp sink.
  • Observed no date marks on RTE TCS foods in prep units and sliced deli meats in WIC.
  • Observed household Raid below sink.

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.



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