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Local Chili’s gets A health grade; location reinspected after getting a C, spokesperson says

CHARLOTTE — A local restaurant received a ”C” rating following a health inspection, according to a February state inspection report. Two weeks later, a spokesperson said the restaurant got an “A” rating after a reinspection.

On Feb. 23, the Chili’s on Sardis Road North at East Independence Boulevard got a 73.5 grade.

The inspection findings included seeing cockroaches throughout the facility, as well as no soap at a hand sink. Inspectors also noticed a sticky buildup on equipment on the food line and numerous foods being held at improper temperatures.

>> For more information about the inspection, click here.

On March 9, a Brinker International spokesperson (which owns Chili’s) said the location got a significantly higher health rating in a reinspection by the health department. The company shared the following statement with Channel 9:

“The health of our Guests and Team Members is our top priority, and we are happy to report Chili’s Crown Point on Sardis Road received a 96.5 in our reinspection by the health department this week. We took quick, corrective action to thoroughly address all concerns and ensure we continue to score A’s on future health inspections. Some of our actions included providing additional training to our Team Members, making necessary repairs in our Heart of House, working with our chemical solutions partner EcoLab and confirming we could operate our virtual brand, Maggiano’s Italian Classics.”

In February, Channel 9 spoke with food safety consultant and teacher Adam Deitrich, who said he checks restaurant inspections daily. Deitrich said he wasn’t surprised by the score at the Chili’s on Sardis Road North location and has previously reached out to the store to offer help. Deitrich said the restaurant received some half points back for correcting problems during the inspection, but it really should have been shut down.

“It’s my opinion that the health department probably should have revoked their permits to sell food based on all the infractions. And the fact that they were repeat violations,” Deitrich said.

Deitrich said the biggest concern from the inspection was the knowledge that this Chili’s was operating as a “ghost kitchen” for Maggiano’s Italian Classics. According to the Charlotte Observer, a ghost kitchen is a commercialized kitchen that specializes in takeout and delivery food.

Deitrich said Maggiano’s Italian Classics is an entirely online restaurant that customers can order from on Door Dash. He said the health inspector noted that the kitchen had not been approved yet.

Deitrich said customers have no idea that their food is actually being prepared in this Chili’s.

“A 73 ain’t good. But the big issue is the ghost kitchen being operated that guests have no idea that it’s coming out of a 73.5 scored kitchen,” Deitrich said.

Deitrich told Channel 9 that ghost kitchens are growing in popularity, but they are operating in a gray zone because state health departments don’t have regulations for them yet.

For more information about the inspection, click here.

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