Hamilton County bestows new batch of Clean Kitchen Awards

More restaurants, cafeterias meet strict standards

CINCINNATI – Three dozen more Hamilton County eateries have earned clean kitchen bragging rights.

Hamilton County Public Health on Tuesday announced the latest winners of the agency’s “Clean Kitchen Award.”

“We started the Clean Kitchen Award to recognize food service facilities in the county that are exemplary in maintaining clean, well-cared-for and ultimately, safe environments for serving food,” Greg Kesterman, Assistant Hamilton County Health Commissioner, said in a news release announcing the winners.

“Since we began issuing the award in 2011, it has really become popular with the County’s food service operations and we are seeing applications increase nearly every month,” he said.

WCPO’s Dirty Dining investigation published earlier this year showed just how difficult it can be to meet the county’s standards. Health inspectors routinely find rodents, dirty silverware and food not being kept at proper temperatures at eateries throughout the region.

Hamilton County Public Health is the only agency in the region to recognize restaurants and other food service operations for having a good inspection track record.

To be considered for the clean kitchen honor, a food service operation must:

• Have fewer than three violations in the previous two years before applying;

• Have no “critical” or repeat violations in the previous two years;

• Maintain at least two staff members with Level I Food Handler certification of at least one current staff member ServSafe certificate;

• And have a minimum of two years of inspections on file with Hamilton County Public Health.

The awards are given throughout the year. This quarter’s winners include several chain restaurant locations including LaRosa's Pizzeria, Red Lobster and Panera Bread and cafeterias at The Jewish Hospital, Bayley Place senior housing and Standard Textile Co Inc. A host of school food service operations also were recognized.

The county has a handful of eateries that have won the award each year it has been given, and school cafeterias are well represented in that group, too.

For a complete list of this year’s Clean Kitchen Award winners, click here or go to http://www.hamiltoncountyhealth.org/en/programs_and_services/environmental_health_services/cleankitchen.html .

 

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