DHEC launches app to enhance public access to restaurant info


Staff Report



COLUMBIA — The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has launched a new web application that provides the public with risk-based inspection scores and reports for all DHEC-permitted retail food establishments at the touch of a button.

S.C. Food Grades is accessible on desktop and mobile devices and includes a new interactive GIS map search tool and an advanced search tool.

Using the map search tool, users can find nearby permitted retail food establishments on the map and then click on each establishment to view the two most recent inspection scores and recent official inspection reports for those establishments.

Users can also use the advanced search tool to retrieve reports of restaurant inspections in a variety of ways, including by street, city or county; facility name; grade; facility type or a specific date range. While some of this information was available previously on the DHEC website, this new tool provides a more comprehensive display of the available information.

“Food safety is our number one goal, and this innovative new tool provides the public with up-to-date information in a user-friendly format,” said Renee Shealy, chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services. “South Carolina is known for its good food, and DHEC works closely with retail food establishments to help ensure that good hospitality and food safety are always hand-in-hand.”

Permitted retail food establishments include restaurants, grocery stores, food trucks, convenience stores, schools and other institutions. DHEC conducts risk-based inspections on each of the more than 18,000 establishments in the state annually or quarterly, based on an establishment’s food processes and their compliance history.

Inspection scores are a snapshot in time based on how a retail food establishment handles five major risk factors related to employee behaviors and preparation practices.

For more information, visit www.scdhec.gov/foodgrades.

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