CHARLOTTE, NC - Channel 9 investigated local restaurants that got the lowest recent scores on their health inspections.
Many had violations that could make you sick. 2500 restaurants in Mecklenburg County serve up food every day. Lynn Lathan is in charge of making sure they're all clean and safe. And she has a personal rule.
"If it has less than an 'A' that's not somewhere I'm going to eat," Lathan explained.
That means a lot of restaurants in Charlotte are out of the question for her.
We looked through inspections back to July and found 80 restaurants scored a 'B' in that time. One got a 'C'!
Godavari Truly South Indian
University Center Blvd
Godavari Truly South Indian on University Center scored a 75 in October. The inspector found raw chicken stored above fried peppers - a major risk of salmonella exposure.
"If it drips on something ready to eat that won't be cooked to 165, it might just be reheated to 140, then you'll be consuming the juices from that chicken," Lathan said.
The report notes a "black build up in the ice machine" and "drain flies throughout the facility." On a follow-up visit a week later, the restaurant scored a 90.
New Century Oriental Deli
New Century Deli on North Tryon got an 85 February 2. The inspector found a ""raw whole pig stored in contact with sauces and vegetables in walk-in cooler."
The restaurant scored in the 'B' range on its last seven inspections dating back to 2015.
New Century Oriental Deli
2/2/2018 - 85
8/30/2017 - 81
6/8/2017 - 85
11/28/2016 - 88.5
7/25/2016 - 85
2/15/2016 - 86.50
10/5/2015 - 80
We showed the results to Clarissa Price who was just walking in.
"Seeing this is disturbing," said Price "I don't want anything out of here if it is packaged or not."
Light Rail Family Restaurant
Light Rail Family Restaurant on South Boulevard scored an 81.5 in September, but has scored two A's since.
Wild Wing Café
Wild Wing Café in University City got an 82. The inspector saw "flies throughout the kitchen and dining room".
They've followed up with two A's.
Newks in Uptown scored an 83 in December and hasn't been re-inspected since.
The inspector saw a worker handling clean and dirty dishes without washing their hands. And, a worker whose artificial nails were sticking through her gloves as she handled food.
A sign inside indicated their score. You should look for those signs. Restaurants are required to display their score in a clearly visible place as you walk in.
Beijing Chinese on South Boulevard got an 83 in July. They've gotten two A's since.
Viet Thai Noodle House
Viet Thai Noodle House on Pineville-Matthews Road scored 83 in August - in part because of "flies and gnats in the kitchen". They scored two A's since then.
Freshii in the BB&T Center Uptown scored an 83 in December, and then followed up with two A's.
Lathan says you can, and should, do your own inspection. Look at general cleanliness in the restaurant like the habits of the staff. Do they wash their hands? And even the habits of other customers, especially at a buffet.
"I've actually seen somebody reach into food, pick it out, and stick it in their mouth," she recalled.
You can see the entire list of restaurants that scored below an A by clicking this link.
And here is a link to the inspection database. You can look up your favorite restaurant and read their detailed inspection.
© 2018 Cox Media Group.