DHEC Food Grades: 11 Charleston-area restaurants get 'C' grades in May

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There are hundreds of restaurants and retail food stores in the Lowcountry. Of those, eight restaurants received a grade of “C” from DHEC during May.

Eight of those restaurants have since seen their grades improve to "A" in follow-up inspections, according to DHEC. Follow-up inspection results for the other three haven't been posted.

Of those 11 restaurants, seven are located in Charleston County. two are in Colleton County on Edisto Beach, one is in Dorchester County and one is in Georgetown County.

No restaurants in Berkeley, Williamsburg, Orangeburg or Beaufort counties received "C" grades in May.

RELATED | April sees 8 Charleston-area restaurants get 'C' grades

Following is a list of the 11 Lowcountry food establishments that received a “C” in May. Overall scores and links to DHEC reports explaining the grades are provided for each.

  • Church's Chicken
    492 Meeting St., Charleston
    “C” grade, 98% score, May 18 (REPORT)
    “C grade, 98% score, May 25 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 94%, June 5

  • Cinebarre
    963 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mount Pleasant
    “C” grade, 96% score, May 4 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 100%, May 7

  • Circle K
    1305 Long Grove Drive, Mount Pleasant
    “C” grade, 94% score, May 2 (REPORT)
    “C” grade, 94% score, May 8 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 98%, May 14

  • Fish Hut
    2671 Spruill Ave., North Charleston
    “C” grade, 85% score, May 23 (REPORT)
    “C” grade, 96% score, May 31 (REPORT)
    No follow-up results posted as of June 7

  • Joey Tomatoes
    1034 Chuck Dawley Blvd., Mount Pleasant
    “C” grade, 60% score, May 14 (REPORT)
    “C” grade, 87% score, May 15 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 95%, May 18

  • La Retta's Pizzeria
    114-A Jungle Rd., Edisto Beach
    “C” grade, 75% score, May 31 (REPORT)
    “C” grade, 92% score, June 4 (REPORT)
    No follow-up results posted as of June 7

  • Las Lupitas
    1745 Remount Rd., North Charleston
    “C” grade, 97% score, May 29 (REPORT)
    No follow-up results posted as of June 7

  • The Seacow Eatery
    145 Jungle Road, Edisto Island
    “C” grade, 76% score, May 17 (REPORT)
    “C” grade, 91% score, May 24 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 100%, May 31

  • Sam's Southern Eatery
    1730 S. Fraser St., Georgetown
    "C" grade, 77% score, May 25 (REPORT)
    Most recent: "A," 95%, June 4

  • Stacks Coastal Kitchen
    1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd. #1107, Mount Pleasant
    “C” grade, 93% score, May 11 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 98%, May 11

  • Wild Ginger
    608 Bacons Bridge Rd., Summerville
    “C” grade, 77% score, May 3 (REPORT)
    Most recent: “A,” 98%, May 7




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?