December DHEC Food Grades: 3 Charleston-area restaurants get a "C"

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(WCIV) - There are hundreds of restaurants and retail food stores in the Tri-County area, Of those, three restaurants received a grade of “C” from DHEC during December. Two of those have since seen their grades improve to "A" in follow-up inspections, according to DHEC. A third has not had its follow-up inspection results posted.

Two of the restaurants that got a "C" are in Charleston County. A third is in Dorchester County. No restaurants in Berkeley County received a "C" from DHEC in December.

RELATED | November DHEC Food Grades: 4 Charleston restaurants get a "C"

Following is a list of the three Lowcountry food establishments that received a “C” in the last month. Overall scores and links to DHEC reports explaining the grades are provided for each.

  • 5 Church Charleston, North Market Street, Charleston
    “C” grade, 74% score, Dec. 5 (REPORT)
    Most recent grade: “A,” Dec. 6.
  • China Max Cuisine (Food Court), Northwoods Boulevard, North Charleston
    “C” grade, 93% score, Dec. 28 (REPORT)
    Most recent grade: No follow-up inspection results posted as of Jan. 11, 2018.
  • Summerville Country Club, Country Club Blvd., Summerville
    “C” grade, 89% score, Dec. 15 (REPORT)
    Most recent grade: “A,” Dec. 18.

In the Lowcountry outside the Tri-County area, no restaurants in Beaufort, Colleton, Georgetown, Orangeburg or Williamsburg received “C” grades from DHEC in December.




Retail Food Establishment Inspections are scored based on a 100 point scale. At the completion of the inspection, a letter grade is posted at each facility based on the calculated numerical score and the facility's past compliance history.

  • Grade A - The retail food establishment earned more than 87 points. Food safety practices appeared to meet the requirements of 61-25
  • Grade B - The retail food establishment earned 87-78 points. Food safety practices need improvement.
  • Grade C - The retail food establishment earned less than 78 points. Food safety practices need significant improvement.

There are circumstances and conditions outlined in state health code under which the letter grade posted at a facility may differ from the numerical score of the most recent inspection.

Each score is a snapshot in time based on how a retail food establishment handles the five major risk factors related to employee behaviors and preparation practices.

The five major risk factors are:

  • Food Contact Equipment Cleanliness - Did the inspector see build up on equipment that comes into contact with food?
  • Cooking Temperatures - Are foods being cooked or heated to temperatures within a safe range?
  • Employee Health - Does the facility have a plan in place to require employees who are sick to stay home?
  • Food Sources - Can the facility prove where all foods are coming from and are they coming from approved sources? (an exception would be raw, unprocessed produce from small farms, produce stands or farmers markets)
  • Food Holding Temperatures - Were the foods maintained at safe hot or cold holding temperatures?