Food & Drink

These Midlands restaurants had the lowest health inspection ratings last month

How DHEC decides whether a restaurant gets an ‘A’ or a ‘C’

DHEC conducts inspections — what it calls a “snapshot in time” of retail food establishments’ employee behavior and preparation practices — annually or quarterly depending on the establishment’s food processes and compliance history.
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DHEC conducts inspections — what it calls a “snapshot in time” of retail food establishments’ employee behavior and preparation practices — annually or quarterly depending on the establishment’s food processes and compliance history.

Nothing spoils an appetite like roaches, built-up grease and mysterious residues near your food.

The State examined the publicly available S.C. Department of Environmental Health and Control food safety inspection reports at Midlands food establishments for the month of May.

Health inspectors grade all S.C. restaurants based on cleanliness, food temperature, hand-washing, presence of pests and other safety criteria.

Here are some of the lowest health ratings given to Midlands restaurants this month.

Saffron

Location: 1607 Fairlane Drive, West Columbia

Grade: C

Health inspectors saw employees tasting food with their bare hands while cooking, licking their fingers and not washing their hands before returning to work, health inspection reports show. Inspectors also found roaches in the restaurant.

In a separate part of the report, inspectors found dead “pests observed throughout facility, such has in prep sinks and on floors under equipment,” though inspectors did not specify what kind of pests.

Inspectors found more violations throughout the building.

“Equipment throughout facility has grease and food debris build up. Shelving in walk-in cooler has black grime and food debris build up,” the inspection report said.

Saffron usually does well on its inspection reports. Since 2016, the West Columbia restaurant has received nine As, and one B, records show.

Quick Stop #2

Location: 9401 Wilson Blvd., Columbia

Grade: C

Health inspectors visited Quick Stop on Wilson Boulevard three times during the month of May. Each time, inspectors gave the convenience store a “C”, the lowest possible grade. During all three visits, health inspectors found roaches. During two visits, inspectors found the bathroom and sink to be dirty.

Since 2017, Quick Stop has received five As, one B and three Cs.

Waffle House #127

Location: 7505 Two Notch Rd., Columbia

Grade: B

Inspectors found “black build up” on the inside of ice bins and on the outside of an ice machine. They found grease build up on a vent hood that was dripping down onto the grill. Employees were observed improperly washing their hands.

This is Waffle House #127’s only B since 2016. On every other inspection it has received As.

Grilled Teriyaki

Location: 748 Harden St., Columbia

Grade: B

Inspectors documented a fly strip covered with dead bugs above a sink, fruit flies in the restroom and roaches. Pans marked “clean” were seen with “biofilm,” defined by scientists as a grouping of one or more microorganism, such as bacteria or fungi. The rice cooker and microwave were also dirty, inspection reports show.

Since 2017, Grilled Teriyaki has received 5 As and two Bs.

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