Inspector finds live roaches in meat grinder at Chinese food restaurant in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — The bug problem at one Chinese food restaurant in northeast Charlotte is so bad that the county health department suspended its food permit this week.

Health inspectors found live roaches in and around a meat grinder; more roaches were in potato starch and flour bulk bins and on prep tables, and a dead roach was found on a cutting board that was actively being used by an employee.

A spokesperson told Channel 9′s Joe Bruno Wednesday that Mecklenburg County Environmental Health inspectors went to the Cottage Restaurant on Harris Houston Road on Tuesday and found over a dozen violations.

The inspection report says there were also food temperature violations in the University City restaurant. There was also an instance of raw tuna being stored in the same pan as pre-cooked imitation crab. Other utensils and areas of the kitchen had heavy food buildup, and inspectors said the food prep station hadn’t been cleaned in days.

An inspector also noted that employees at Cottage Restaurant were washing their hands “for less than five seconds with no soap.”

The county says it pulled Cottage Restaurant’s permit to sell food due to the contamination with live and dead cockroaches. The restaurant will have to contract with a pest control company “to treat and remediate the infestation and clean all food and non-food contact surfaces after completion of pest control treatment.”

Those violations amounted to a final score of 84, which was a B grade. Last year, the same restaurant got a 75.5 score when a cook was seen smoking while at the grill.

According to the county, the owners of Cottage Restaurant can request a reinspection to reactivate their permit to sell food. As of Wednesday morning, the restaurant hadn’t yet requested a reinspection.

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