MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The owners of ART Burger and Sushi took to social media to share their less-than-favorable letter grade given by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
On Wednesday, DHEC inspectors graded ART Burger and Sushi. After finding violations, the restaurant received a B letter grade, one that owner Larry Bond was not proud of but felt he needed to share.
"They went through our restaurant and found some violations. I don't ever share the 100s or the high As that we usually get, but I felt, because of the low score, we should share with the public," Bond said.
Bond and his wife are trying to build up the restaurant scene in Myrtle Beach. In addition to ART, they also operate The Chemist and The Noizy Oyster, with two more in the works.
While going so public with the DHEC results on Facebook and hanging them in the restaurant wasn't easy, Bond said he believes in transparency.
"It was scary. Am I making the right decision? But I had to stay true to myself, just like I tell my team every day. I thought it was the right thing to do," Bond explained.
ART earned an 82 percent. DHEC requires an 88 to receive the A letter grade. Bond and his wife aren't arguing with the grade and they understand how important those standards are.
One of the violations inspectors found was an employee didn't wash their hands before switching gloves.
"On the outside of the gloves they are picking up, it's going to get contaminated with whatever bacteria may be on their hands. So it's very important that they remove the gloves, wash their hands thoroughly, grab a paper towel to turn the faucet off and then grab the gloves immediately before touching anything else. That's for the safety of the public," Bond explained.
Inspectors also found a knife wasn't thoroughly washed before cutting one fruit and then another.
"What if they are cutting a mango, and what if they just rinse it (knife) really quick and cut up a lemon and put it in someone's tea who is allergic to mangos. Well, then we failed as an operation," Bond said.
Bond said every manager, line cook, and server was told right away what was found and how it needed to be fixed. For the owner, when his employees serve people food, they are taking the customers' health into their hands.
"No matter how small it might seem to people, it's important and I don't take it lightly," Bond said.
Bond is confident, if DHEC came back tomorrow, another A would be on the door. He expected them to come back within the next week.