Roaches were a common sight for South Carolina health workers as they handed out some of the lowest restaurant health inspection reports across the Midlands in November.
The state Department of Health and Environmental Control each month releases grades and inspection reports for food establishments across Lexington and Richland counties.
Here are the restaurants that received some of the lowest ratings in November, based on The State’s review.
▪ Fatz, Main Street, Lexington
On Nov. 15, DHEC inspectors visited Fatz on Main Street in Lexington and awarded the restaurant a 74 or a C.
While at the restaurant, inspectors saw “numerous roaches of varying sizes” throughout the kitchen, according to the DHEC report. They also found signs rodents had been in the restaurant’s water heater room. Inspectors also observed an employee touch raw foods then ready-to-eat foods without washing their hands, dirty items that touch food stored as “clean” and shelving and equipment that were “visibly soiled and sticky to the touch.”
During past inspections, Fatz was always awarded an A. After a Nov. 23 follow-up, DHEC gave the restaurant an A.
▪ J.R. Cash’s Grill and Bar, Beltline Boulevard, Columbia
After a Nov. 17 inspection, J.R. Cash’s Grill and Bar was awarded a 76 or a C.
While at the restaurant, DHEC inspectors saw rodent droppings throughout the facility. They also noticed food debris stuck in the meat slicer. Grease had accumulated behind and inside of equipment throughout the kitchen, as well as on the floor by the dry storage area. There was also standing water on the floor by the mop closet.
DHEC did not report any previous inspections at J.R. Cash’s, but after a Nov 24 follow-up inspection, the restaurant was given an A.
▪ Flaming Grill Supreme Buffet, Afton Court, Columbia
Flaming Grill Supreme Buffet in Columbia was given a 72 or a C after a health inspection on Nov. 10.
During the inspection, DHEC workers saw roaches in the hibachi grill area and in one of the kitchen coolers. They also found dead pests inside the hibachi cabinets and on the floor. Inspectors also noticed that an open sauce was not protected by a sneeze guard on the buffet line. Inspectors also saw black grime buildup inside of ice machines.
In the past, Flaming Grill received a mix of A’s, B’s and C’s on its health inspections. Flaming Grill was given another C during a Nov. 18 follow-up, but ultimately received an A during a Nov. 22 inspection.
▪ Applebee’s, Devine Street, Columbia
During a Nov. 16 inspection of the Applebee’s on Devine Street, DHEC workers awarded the restaurant an 80 or a B.
At the restaurant, inspectors saw roaches throughout the kitchen, though they noted in their report that the restaurant was actively working with pest control to get rid of them. Inspectors also saw boxes of food stored directly on the floor of the walk in freezer. There was also food debris build-up inside the prep coolers as well as under equipment and counters throughout the kitchen.
In past inspections, the Applebee’s on Devine had scored all A’s. It was granted an A again after a Nov. 24 follow-up.
Want to read more? Here are our stories on past inspections: