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Rats, roaches and blood: These Midlands restaurants had the lowest July inspection ratings

The State (Columbia, SC) logo The State (Columbia, SC) 8/4/2022 Patrick McCreless, The State

South Carolina health inspectors found a host of violations at restaurants across the Midlands in July, from rodents, roaches and flies in storage areas and kitchens to animal blood on floors.

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 July.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit on Two Notch Road in Richland

Dickey’s had an inspection on July 8 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed flies, ants and drain flies throughout the restaurant, which had not had a pest control visit. The inspector also observed blood on the floor from meat packages, grease and debris behind equipment and grime on the floor.

Water was seen pooling in the prep cooler and heavy carbon buildup on the bread warmer.

The restaurant had a required followup inspection on July 15 and got another C grade. A second followup inspection was held on July 22 and the restaurant got an A grade.

Express China on Harden Street in Richland

Express China had an inspection on July 13 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed large amounts of rodent droppings in the dry storage area behind shelves. Also observed was dead roaches and ant activity in the dry storage area on shelves and in the kitchen area.

Food was seen being stored inside printed grocery bags. Boxes of food were seen stored directly on the floor in the freezer. Also observed was food products not properly cooled from the previous day.

The restaurant had a required followup inspection on July 22 and got another C grade. A second followup inspection has not yet been held.

China Hut Ace on Broad River Road in Richland

China Hut Ace had an inspection on July 11 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed that the restaurant was using garbage and grocery-style bags for direct food storage. The inspector also observed rice not being held at proper temperatures.

Boxes of single service items were seen being stored directly on the floor.

The restaurant had a required followup inspection on July 19 and got an A grade.

Menkoi Ramen on Gervais Street in Richland

Menkoi Ramen had an inspection on July 19 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed a bucket of covered boiled eggs not cooling properly inside the cooler and a 5-gallon bucket of sauces being stored directly on the floor in the cooler. Also observed was cases of single use articles being stored directly on the floor in the dry storage area and a smaller cooler being used to store egg noodles that was not properly certified.

The restaurant had a required followup inspection on July 29 and got an A grade.

Sushi and Hibachi to Go on Elmwood Ave. in Richland

Sushi and Hibachi had an inspection on July 27 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed dead roaches underneath a sink. Also observed was several chemical products like Miracle Grow and fabric softener stored with food and single serve items.

Food was seen stored directly on the floor. Cooked chicken and other food products were seen stored inside printed grocery bags. Also, food debris was seen underneath equipment throughout the restaurant.

A required followup inspection has not yet been held.

El Mariachi on Sunset Blvd. in Lexington

El Mariachi had an inspection on July 8 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed certain foods not being held at proper temperatures. Also, a container of peppers and a large container of rice were seen not cooling properly.

The restaurant had a required followup inspection on July 15 and got an A grade.

KJ’s Market on St. Andrews Road in Lexington

KJ’s Market had an inspection on July 1 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed rodent droppings in the back storage area that had not been corrected from a previous inspection.

The business then garnered C grades during two followup inspections on July 11 and July 21 for not correcting the rodent problem.

Yet another followup inspection was held on July 28 and the business got an A grade.

Tacos Locos and Grill on 12 Street in Lexington

Tacos Locos had an inspection on July 6 and got a C grade.

An inspector observed flies throughout the kitchen and prep areas. Also seen was a bus tub of raw shrimp stored on the floor of the cooler.

A bucket with more than 4 inches of queso with a lid was seen not cooling properly.

The restaurant had a followup inspection on July 13 and got another C grade. Another inspection was held on July 21 and the restaurant got an A grade.

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