These Midlands restaurants had the lowest health inspection ratings last month

As South Carolina’s health inspectors hit Midlands restaurants in April, they found roaches, roaches and more roaches.

The State took a look at the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s inspection reports for food establishments across the Midlands. These restaurants received some of the lowest ratings in April.

  • Tsunami, Gervais Street in Columbia

During an April 11 inspection of Tsunami in Columbia, health department inspectors awarded the restaurant a 78 or a B.

Inspectors found moldy onions in the walk in cooler at the restaurant, according to the inspection report. They also noticed raw shrimp stored over cooked chicken. Several food items were stored on the floor, and shelving had “an accumulation of debris.” The floors were also covered in old food and miscellaneous items. Inspectors said the plumbing in the restaurant was in need of repair, and walls in the restaurant were damaged.

In past inspections, Tsunami was given only one other grade lower than an A, which was awarded in 2016. During an April 15 follow-up inspection, the restaurant was given a perfect score.

  • Casa Linda Mexican Restaurant, Beltline Boulevard in Columbia

Casa Linda was inspected on April 10 and subsequently awarded an 83 percent or a B.

While at the restaurant, inspectors noticed raw, broken eggs being stored over produce and raw chicken being stored next to tortilla packages. They also saw employees touching raw meats and then touching tortillas or food contact surfaces without washing their hands in between. An employee just rinsed their hands instead of washing them. Employees were seen garnishing drinks with their bare hands.

Before the April 10 investigation, Casa Linda had only been awarded one other B. During an April 19 follow-up inspection, Casa Linda was given a perfect score.

  • No. 1 China, Augusta Road in West Columbia

After an April 9 inspection, No. 1 China was given an 83 percent or a B.

“Roaches in several stages of life” were found throughout the restaurant. Leaking boxes of raw chicken were stored over and next to vegetables, according to the inspection report. The restaurant was not marking food stored for more than 24 hours. Containers of sauces and foods were stored without lids, and several food containers are stored on the floor.

No. 1 China has received only one other B in the past. A follow-up inspection left the restaurant with a score of 100 percent.

  • San Jose, Hardscrabble Road in Columbia

San Jose received a visit from health department inspectors on April 22 and was given a 70 percent or a C.

While at the restaurant, inspectors found live roaches on the front cook line in the kitchen, according to the inspection report. Employees were seen touching raw meats and then touching other items without washing their hands in between. A knife strip and several knives were found with “an accumulation of debris.” An employee with long hair did not have it properly tied back. The inside of a cooler also had an accumulation of debris on the shelves.

This is the first C San Jose was given. In the past, it has only received one B. During an April 26 follow-up, the restaurant was given a 98 percent.

Did you like this story? Check out our previous restaurant inspection reports.

March’s worst health inspections

February’s worst health inspections

January’s worst health inspections

December’s worst health inspections

Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.