Moldy and expired food: DHEC slaps two Grand Strand diners with low food grades

Two Grand Strand diners received low food grades during South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control inspections this month.

Denny’s restaurants, at 1200 U.S. 17 N. in Surfside Beach and at at 730 U.S. 17 S. in North Myrtle Beach, both were deducted points under food-contact surfaces for having substance build up on cooking equipment, an inspection report states.

The Surfside location received a 73 percent during a routine inspection June 4, according to a DHEC report. Denny’s in North Myrtle Beach scored 85 during a follow-up inspection June 3, the inspection report states.

Denny’s in Surfside was also deducted points for having a container of moldy food, which could not be identified by staff, food with expired discard dates, ready-to-eat foods stored without a cover inside a refrigerator and improper cold-holding temperatures for food, the inspection states. The restaurant had items in squeeze bottles unlabeled and chemicals not stored to prevent contaminating food, the report states.

The North Myrtle Beach location lost points for having no soap or paper towels at sinks, improper hot-holding temperatures for sausage, improper cold-holding temperatures for meats, eggs, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, according to the inspection.

DHEC inspectors conduct risk-based inspections annually or quarterly based on an establishment’s food process and compliance history, according to DHEC. Scores are a “snapshot in time” based on how food establishments handle five risk factors: food contact equipment cleanliness, cooking temperatures, employee health, food sources and food-holding temperatures.

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The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.