CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A popular Charlotte pizza place made the list on this week's Restaurant Report Card.
Consumer Reporter Bill McGinty set out to see how serious the kitchen violations were based on health department inspection reports.
The Mellow Mushroom located on West Martin Luther King Boulevard had a handful of issues leading to its grade -- the inspector even noted an overall lack of control in the kitchen.
The containers were stored as clean while in reality they were still dirty. Additionally, their ice machine had black and pink build-up inside the ice shute and on the ice shield. The ice for drinks slides down that chute.
As for food, the steak, cooked mushrooms and meatballs were all stored as "cold" but were still too warm. All of it was tossed out. Their grade? An 85.5, a "B."
Next up, the Mr. Jalapeno Food Truck. Mobile food trucks are still subject to the same standards as dine-in restaurants. They had hand-washing issues as well as undated food. In addition, they had unwashed radishes, cucumbers and onions even though their permit says they aren't allowed to process vegetables like this as they don't have the specific prep or sink space. Their grade? A 90, or a low "A."
Finally, the Trade Street Taco at 710 West Trade made the list. Here too, the health inspector noted an overall lack of control in the kitchen. In addition to having hand-washing violations, they had to be instructed how to wash their hands. They had queso in their hot well, but it didn't reach 135 degrees -- not up to code. They had salsa, which is supposed to be kept cold, found above 45 degrees because the cooler was turned off. The salsa was tossed out. Their grade was an 87.5, a "B."
While it might be easy to dismiss violations that you do when you cook at home for yourself, there's one key difference -- your home isn't regulated because you likely don't charge people to eat there. Violations like hand-washing in a restaurant end up being a big deal.