U.S. – Sandra Craig, an employee of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), has received the Rudy Award, which is given to someone whose work has a beneficial effect on the restaurant sector in and around Columbia.

Craig is the Director of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health Services’ Division of Food and Lead Risk Assessment.

DHEC has a role in overseeing South Carolina Food Laws and Retail Food Establishment Regulations that require safe food handling practices to protect the health and safety of restaurant patrons and retail food workers.

“This is a great achievement but not at all surprising when it comes to Sandra. She is a worthy recipient who is responsible for keeping Columbia residents and all South Carolinians safe through the quality services she and her team provide. She continues to excel in this role and our state is lucky to have her,” said Robin Mack, DHEC’s Assistant Bureau Chief in Environmental Health Services.

Craig was presented with the Rudy Award during the annual Columbia Restaurant Hall of Fame and Benefit Dinner. 

The honor bears Rudy Flyshocker’s name who has been a mainstay of the local culinary scene for more than 30 years, starting in 1977.

Craig has 40 years of experience working with DHEC’s Environmental Health programs and a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture.

She currently assists in statewide regulatory program oversight for the retail, dairy, and manufactured dairy food, bottled water, soft drinks, and ice industries.

In cases of elevated blood lead levels in children, she also supervises environmental assessments.

“I am truly humbled by this award, and cannot thank my teammates at DHEC enough. It is truly a group effort, and we approach each day with a renewed focus on keeping South Carolinians safe. 

“That has always been our goal and I am honored to accept this award as a representation of the dedication we have to our great state,” Craig said.

Craig is an active participant in the Conference for Food Protection, a national group that brings together state food regulators, people working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and people employed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, in addition to her responsibilities at DHEC.

She had previously co-chaired the organization’s committee on Food Recovery.

DHEC recently received the 2021 Outstanding Community Leader Award (Public Sector) for the agency’s innovative work to assist restaurants in promoting food safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award was presented by the South Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (SCRLA), a statewide organization focused on promoting and educating food service and lodging industries, at its annual Stars of the Hospitality Industry Awards Luncheon. 

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