MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Each month, News13 will be revealing which local restaurants got the lowest inspection scores from state health officials.
Two restaurants received a “C” grade, the lowest possible grade from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), for the month of January: Osaka Sushi Buffet in Myrtle Beach and Fiesta Tapatia in Bennettsville.
Three gas station facilities also received scores of less than 78 points from DHEC after recent inspections. DHEC defines businesses that fall in this “C” category as “needing significant improvement.”
Osaka Sushi Buffet at 794 Oak Forest Lane in Myrtle Beach received a 74% during its January 31st inspection. The inspector said the department deducted points while watching cooks use their bare hands to prepare buffet items like cucumbers and lettuce.
Violations didn’t stop there, according to the DHEC report, with raw chicken being stored above uncovered cooked shrimp, presenting a risk for cross-contamination. Other entree items were left uncovered directly touching the bottom of trays.
Food temperatures were another concern, as the inspection report from DHEC stated no thermometer was present in a cold storage unit.
On a follow-up inspection, Osaka Sushi Buffet scored a perfect 100%.
Fiesta Tapatia at 630 Cheraw Street in Bennettsville also received a 74% during its January 22nd inspection. Points were deducted because the person in charge did not have a food handler’s certification, according to the inspector’s note.
The report also says an employee was cleaning the sink and then cooked food, all while wearing the same gloves and without washing hands.
On a follow-up inspection, Fiesta Tapatia scored a perfect 100%.
Short Trip #6, a gas station located at 415 Boykin Ave in Lamar received a 76% during its January 3rd inspection. Inspectors reported employees handling raw chicken and other food, utensils and equipment. The condenser unit was reportedly dripping directly into cracked raw shell eggs.
Boxes of raw meat were not properly stored, sliced tomatoes had ‘spotty white growth’, and food held over 24 hours had no date marking system in place according to the report.
Short Trip #6 scored a perfect 100% on a follow-up inspection.
Cruizers #16, a gas station at 233 N Coit St in Florence, received 75% during its January 3rd inspection. Employees were reportedly switching from cleaning to handling food without washing hands, among other concerns.
Cruizers #16 later scored a 97% during its follow-up inspection.
According to DHEC’s website, Alco #35 located at 4501 Highway 9 West in Wallace received a C grade during its January 2nd inspection, but on the inspection form, received an overall score of 98%. The facility later received a 100% in a follow-up inspection.
We’ll continue to follow low inspection scores at local restaurants and other facilities, each month, right here on WBTW.com.