Watching where you eat

The Post and Courier's Watchdog series took on the issue of restaurant inspections this week with an analysis of local eateries. For the most part, it's good news for those who love to dine out. The vast majority of restaurants in the Charleston area score A's on their health inspection, which requires an 88 or above.

But that's not what you're interested in, is it? What you want to know is where not to go. The Post and Courier reports:

The analysis also showed that restaurants scored Bs or worse in nearly 700 inspections. At least 30 eateries scored worse than a C in the past year, the Watchdog analysis found.


A baker's dozen had scores lower than 60. This select group included a few Chinese and Mexican restaurants but also some prominent downtown establishments.

But The Post and Courier isn't naming names. If you want to find any specific restaurant scores, they're all online. Just head to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's Food Establishment Scores search page. Or if you are more interested in browsing, The Post and Courier has put up a searchable database of inspection scores that doesn't require you to type in a restaurant name. Oh, and those inspections include school cafeterias, as well.

If you're looking to file a complaint, just use DHEC's online complaint form.

The Post and Courier article does add this comment from DHEC officials, though, and it's an important message to include:

DHEC's food cops are quick to say inspections are just a snapshot of a restaurant's performance. They say even the best restaurant can have a bad day, and are quick to point out that poisoning your customers is a bad business model.

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