Feb 25, 2024

Greenville restaurants, grocery store get low grades in DHEC report

Editor's note: To keep our food and dining readers informed, the Greenville News covers sanitation and health grades given to the food and dining industry by inspections administered by the South Carolina Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Overall inspection scores and letter grades are updated on the storefront immediately after an inspection.

Both routine and follow-up DHEC inspections are performed on more than 2,500 retail food establishments in Greenville County each year.

DHEC can perform an inspection unannounced or based on the level of safety risks. Follow-up inspections are conducted within 10 days of a routine inspection and require a follow-up to make sure changes are made.

Casey White, DHEC public information officer, confirmed two kinds of violations: a priority and a foundation.

"A priority violation is one that is at the highest risk of causing foodborne illness," White said. "A foundation violation is a contributing factor to causing illness."

On a scale of 100, food grades below 78 signify the food establishment's practices need significant improvements. According to DHEC regulations, if there is an imminent health hazard or a safe operation can't be maintained, the food establishment must close.

Below is a snapshot of the July retail food establishments that have fallen to a "C" food grade with DHEC, or consecutive violations listed from a previous report, and follow-up inspections that have been upgraded since the visit:

During a follow-up inspection on July 10, DHEC found a total of two priority violations and four foundation violations including,

According to Ana Gibson, La Costena's assistant manager, the inventory staff will keep all receipts for approved items purchased to sell. And revisit proper labeling practices for all workers in their establishment. Gibson also stated their meat comes from a vendor in Greer, but they could not find the documentation during the inspection.

Overall score: 88

La Costena Taqueria's score is now passing, as they previously had a consecutive violation on their report that has been corrected. This food establishment currently has an "A" grade posted on its front door.

During a routine inspection on July 24, DHEC found the following, including six foundation violations and five priority violations:

"We had a big storm and lighting hit the roof. The cooler was not working," said Anastasia Mentzelopoulos, owner of K&S Restaurant. "We fixed it, we had a technician come out and everything is correct now."

Overall score: 76

Since their initial July 24th inspection K&S received a "B" rating on 7/25 and then an additional "A" rating the following day from DHEC. Upon visiting K&S Restaurant, an "A" rating was accurately listed on the door.

During a follow-up inspection on July 5, DHEC found one priority violation for improper holding temperatures including mashed potatoes, raw shrimp, potato wedges, and buttermilk were all stored above the 41-degree threshold within kitchen prep coolers.

According to Robbie McDaniel, general manager of Logan's, a piece of equipment went down that caused a temperature issue. Since the inspection, the temperature issue has been fixed and upgraded.

Overall score: 97%

Upon visiting Logan's Restaurant, there was an "A" rating listed on the door. Previously Logan's had a consecutive violation on their report that required a follow-up and correction.

During a routine inspection on July 3, DHEC agents found seven foundation and six priority violations, including:

According to the store owner, Josue Olivare, during the follow-up inspection, Super Carnicereia corrected everything from sinks to the outside area were cleaned. The proper paperwork was posted by the next week. Due to a malfunctioning water heater, Olivare said the temperature was off; and had it fixed the next day. A broken pipe occurred three days later.

Overall score: 72%

DHEC confirmed that Super Carnicereia improved its conditions shortly after the July 3rd inspection and received a "B" rating. Upon visiting Super Carnicereia El Gallo an accurate "B" rating was listed on their door.

The routine inspection on July 14 showcased four priority and four foundation violations including:

Overall score: 75%

DHEC confirmed that their "C" rating was upgraded to an "A" grade on 7/20. Upon visiting Viva Villa, there was an "A" rating posted on the door. The Greenville News reached out for comment but received no response.

– A.J. Jackson covers the food & dining scene, along with arts, entertainment and more for The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail. Contact him by email at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter @ajhappened.

SC Food Grades

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