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Food Safety

Each year in South Carolina, contaminated or spoiled food leads to more than a million cases of foodborne illness (often called food poisoning) and more than $2 billion in costs, including doctor visits, medicine, lost work days, and other expenses.

Foodborne illnesses often occur in children, and mishandled food can lead to illness, hospitalization, and even death.

DHEC's Role

DHEC inspects more than 18,000 retail food establishments statewide and issues permits to new facilities prior opening. Retail food establishments include operations such as restaurants, grocery stores, food trucks, schools and other institutions. Risk-based inspections are conducted at each establishment in the state annually or quarterly, based on an establishment's food processes and their compliance history.

DHEC also regulates food safety for dairy and manufactured food operations and shellfish harvesting areas to ensure that oysters, clams and mussels are safe for human consumption.

The agency also provides a wide variety of information and resources to help protect the public from potential food safety factors at home and while eating out.  

Check Your Food Grades!
Contact Us

Phone: (803) 896-0640

Mailing Address
Bureau of Environmental Health Services
Division of Food Protection and Rabies Prevention
2600 Bull Street 
Columbia, SC 29201

Street Address
Division of Food Protection and Rabies Prevention
State Park Health Center
8500 Farrow Road, Building 5
Columbia, SC 29203