Are DHEC Ratings Always Accurate?

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Are DHEC Ratings Always Accurate?

Emily Plumblee (11) points to a restaurant’s A rating.

Emily Plumblee (11) points to a restaurant’s A rating.

Emily Plumblee (11) points to a restaurant’s A rating.

Emily Plumblee (11) points to a restaurant’s A rating.

Emmylou Wilkes, Staff Reporter

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Health and safety ratings are incredibly important when it comes to deciding where to eat. While some customers do not even acknowledge health ratings of businesses, lots of people decide whether to go into a restaurant based on the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) rating. DHEC enforces regulations among all SC establishments to promote public health and control pollution, according to the organization’s official website. They perform inspections to make sure that South Carolina businesses are clean and give ratings based on their observations. Each inspection is based on a 100-point scale. An ‘A’ grade means that the establishment earns a rating above an 87 and that it meets the requirements of being considered a clean, safe environment. A ‘B’ means that the establishment “needs improvement” and a ‘C’ means that it needs “significant improvement.”

According to SweetIQ, restaurants that receive a grade below a B will lose up to forty percent of their customers. Also, with social media becoming more and more prevalent, it is incredibly easy to share experiences and ratings at a specific place with just one click of a button. With this being said though, many businesses are able to attain higher ratings than what they may deserve.

DHEC tells businesses that they are planning on doing an inspection up to two weeks before they actually visit. Because of this, businesses are able to make significant changes within that time in order to make sure they receive a grade that will keep them in business. Anonymous quotes were collected from a variety of different student employees, kept anonymous for privacy reasons.

For example, a former employee at a water park said, “We hid things we were not supposed to have in a shed that we were also not supposed to have.” Their business ended up receiving an A on the last inspection that the employee witnessed. Another worker at a local establishment stated, “Our restaurant always cleans up at the very last minute just to get an A rating. Before that, the restaurant is always filthy. Dirty floors, dirty walls, freezers, and sometimes utensils, are a common sight to see.”

With this being said though, there are many businesses that live up to the standards that come along with a good health grade. Another restaurant employee revealed, “We deserve the rating given because our food is always prepared in a clean area and all employees are careful to make sure that everything is done correctly and the food turns out great.” With all this in mind, consumers should simply be conscious of where they are eating, and be aware that where they are eating may not deserve the grade they have been given.

About the Writer
Emmylou Wilkes, Staff Reporter

Emmylou Wilkes is a junior and a first year staff reporter. She loves reading and writing and listening to just about any kind of music there is (with...

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