Richland and Lexington SC restaurants with the worst inspections

South Carolina health inspectors found a range of violations in restaurants across the Midlands in June, from crickets and flies in kitchens to mold and food being stored on floors.

Each month the state Department of Health and Environmental Control issues scores and inspection reports for food establishments across Lexington and Richland counties.

Here are the restaurants that got some of the lowest ratings in June.

Brooklyn Express Pizza and Pasta on Broad River Road in Richland

Brooklyn Express was examined on June 10 and had a score of 70%.

An inspector noticed that the employee’s handle was ready to eat food items with their bare hands and that the employee was not washing his hands between points of contamination. Chicken wings and Italian sausage were also observed thawing at ambient temperature under a hand-washing basin.

Sheet pans were seen not have been adequately washed, rinsed and dried before being placed on a table prepared for use.

Some foods were seen not being kept at appropriate temperatures.

The requested follow-up inspection was conducted on June 13 and the restaurant received an A grade.

Liberty at the Lake on Marina Road in Richland

Liberty at the Lake was examined on June 20 and had a score of 77%.

Note the flight activity inspector throughout the kitchen area. The presence of sewage flowing through the floor was also observed in the lower bar when using the hand basin.

Several employees were seen handling ready-to-eat food with their hands. Dishes containing food items and pans containing clean plastic were stored as clean. Also, some foods were not kept at proper temperatures.

The requested follow-up inspection was conducted on June 28 and the restaurant received an A grade.

US Wings & Deli on Broad River Road in Richland

US Wings & Deli was examined on June 21 and had a score of 75%.

An inspector noticed crickets and flies in the back of the dish line area. It was also noted that there were two buses of the wings subject to time that had not been disposed of from the previous day.

Grease was seen dripping from the hood system into the preparation area below. Grease and covered food residues were seen building up on equipment and shelves throughout the kitchen areas.

The requested follow-up inspection was conducted on June 27 and the restaurant received another C grade. No further required follow-up examination was performed.

Waffle House on Garners Ferry Road in Richland

Waffle House was examined on June 21 and received a score of 75% C.

One of the inspectors noticed flies in the back and front of the building. Also note that expired milk is on hand in the cooler at the cooking/prep line.

An employee was seen breaking eggs and placing raw meat on a baking tray without properly washing hands. Water buildup in the cooking line under the counter fridge and dishwasher was also seen in poor condition.

A follow-up inspection was conducted on June 22nd and the restaurant received another C grade. No further required follow-up examination was performed.

El Mariachi on Sunset Boulevard in Lexington

Al-Marishi was inspected on June 29th and received a score of 70%.

An inspector noticed a mysterious white growth on the squash in the heatsink. It was also noted that there were 14 large containers of food stored directly on the floor in the cold room.

An employee was observed handling raw fish, then proceeded to touch ready-to-eat foods. Corn husks were also seen in a bowl seated in a hand basin, along with a vegetable peeler and gloves. Raw meat and eggshell eggs were stored over the salsa in a cold room.

The required follow-up examination was not performed.

Tacos Locos & Grill on 12th N Street in Lexington

Tacos Locos were examined on June 27 and had a score of 74% C.

One inspector noticed flies all over the kitchen and prep areas. Canned food and open foods stored on the floor in the freezer compartment were also observed, along with tamale peels stored directly on a dirty surface.

Dishes stored and ready to be used for serving are seen with leftovers and fat buildup. An accumulation of white, pink and brown was seen inside the ice maker.

The required follow-up examination was not performed.

Waffle House on Piney Grove Road in Lexington

Waffle House was inspected on June 14 and received a score of 76% C.

One inspector noted that staff did not wash their hands between points of contamination with a change of gloves, when switching from handling soiled dishes to cleaning, and between handling raw and ready-to-eat food. It has also been observed that some foods are not kept at appropriate temperatures. Dirty boxes were seen being used to keep the lids clean. Also, several boxes of product were seen on the floor throughout the back of the building and the dry storage area.

The requested follow-up inspection was conducted on June 22nd and the restaurant received an A grade.

This story was originally published July 1, 2022 5:00 a.m.

Patrick McCarrels is the Editor of The State Press Service, where he and a team of reporters write about the day’s trending news and topics that help readers in their daily lives and better inform them about their communities. He attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

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