(Santa Ana) – The County of Orange Health Care Agency (HCA) has issued the 2016 Award of Excellence to 3,630 Orange County food facilities to recognize local businesses for their outstanding food safety and sanitation practices during 2015.
The annual Award of Excellence was created to provide an incentive for retail food businesses that consistently meet or exceed health and safety standards for food facility operations. In 1999, the first year of the program, 584 food establishments received the recognition. With increased outreach and improved compliance with food safety laws, the number of recipients has grown significantly since its inception.
“Hard work, dedication and a commitment to food safety are the primary ingredients for what the Award of Excellence represents,” said Mark Refowitz, Director of HCA. “These food facilities, their owners and employees go above and beyond on a consistent basis to earn this honor, reflecting their dedication to protect public health and safety.”
Included in the Award of Excellence Program are food facilities such as restaurants, catering establishments, meat/seafood markets, retail bakeries, supermarkets, supermarket/bakery combinations, and public and private schools with food production service. A complete list of all recipients and award criteria is available online at www.ocfoodinfo.com/foodaward.htm.
HCA’s Food Protection Program focuses on the inspection of retail food facilities in order to promote the safe and sanitary preparation and service of foods, prevent foodborne illness, and protect consumers from adulterated food products. For more information, please visit www.ocfoodinfo.com.