El Paso County Public Health is partnering with the El Paso County Food Safety Advisory Group (FSAG) to recognize licensed retail food service establishments in El Paso County which consistently maintain superior food safety practices. This effort will be known as “Excellence in Food Safety.” Of 2,500 retail food establishments in El Paso County, 477 met the criteria for Excellence in Food Safety in 2016.
A retail food establishment will be eligible for the recognition if the establishment receives no critical violations on their report in the course of two regular annual inspections. Critical violations are those which, if not corrected, may lead to foodborne illness. Noncritical violations are related to the maintenance of the establishment, and the cleanliness, and can lead to the development of critical violations.
There will be three categories of retail food establishments recognized:
- Full service establishments
- Limited menu establishments
- Schools and other nonprofit establishments
As part of the program retail food establishments will be recognized annually at the Board of Health meeting and the recognition list will be posted on www.elpasocountyhealth.org. The recognition program is a rewards-based system for the regulated retail food industry. It was developed by the FSAG with the goal of giving retail food establishments who successfully implement superior food safety practices recognition and appreciation.