And the oscar goes to…….

Well done Kansas City. The Kansas City Health Department has recognized those food service establishments, 55 in total, who have gone above and beyond in terms of sanitation and food safety. Recipients of this award will definitely benefit by getting more business simply because people enjoy clean and sanitary restaurants. Do you blame them? The Kansas City Star writes:

The recipients of the department’s Fifth Annual “Grade A Food Excellence Award” for 2008 winners include full-scale restaurants, fast-food establishments, school cafeterias, convenience stores and grocery stores, among others.

The award is valid for one year.

The winners include Arby’s on Oxford Avenue in the Northland, Bluestem in Westport, Culver’s Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers on State Line Road, Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza’s Café Express and Kansas City Marriott Downtown’s Lilly’s, Paul’s Drive-in on Blue Ridge Boulevard, Popeyes Famous Chicken and Biscuits on State Line Road, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at Union Station, Russell Stover Candies on 51st Street, and Sylvia’s Deli on Washington Street.

“When you go in a restaurant you look for good quality in the food, good service, but most of all cleanliness and my deli is clean,” said Sylvia Raya, owner of Sylvia’s Deli at 1746 Washington St., which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in June. “From day one I was determined to get this award and my employees worked very hard for it as well.”

All food establishments in Kansas City are inspected regularly by the Health Department, and if they are open it means that they have passed their inspections.

But the establishments recognized with this award have substantially exceeded the standards set in the Food Code, fully endorsing employee education and training.

Criteria include:

At least one person in the facility must have successfully completed the department’s food manager course or be ServSafe certified.

High risk facilities (those with large and complicated menus) cannot have more than three critical violations, medium risk facilities (fast food operations and bistros) cannot have more than two critical violations, and low risk facilities (like street vendors or convenience stores with one or two fresh prepared products) cannot have any critical violations in the calendar year for the award.

No violations may be repeat violations from the calendar year.