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Fri, July 19

Golden Plates awarded to 175 county restaurants, food-handling facilities

Winners of the Golden Plate Award stand with the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors at the BOS meeting on March 6. (Courier/ George Johnston)

Winners of the Golden Plate Award stand with the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors at the BOS meeting on March 6. (Courier/ George Johnston)

Yavapai County Board of Supervisors awarded the 2018 Golden Plate Awards to 175 restaurants and food-handling facilities.

The Golden Plate Award is given to restaurants and food-handling facilities with excellent food service and safety. This award is sponsored by the Food Safety Industrial Council, which includes the University of Arizona, the Restaurant Association of Yavapai County as well as restaurant consumer and regulators.

“Now we have many, many great restaurants in our county, but these ones are the ones who do not actually violate health codes in any way,” said Leslie Horton, Community Health Services director.

To be eligible for this award, a restaurant must not have any critical violations for 12 months, explained Cecil Newell, Environmental Health Unit manager.

Having a food safety plan that can be implemented is crucial for the award as well, Newell said. He added that restaurants and food-handling facilities also must have a person in charge who is certified in management training.

“A critical violation could be something as easy no soap at the handset or no paper towels. How many places run out of paper towels every once and a while?” Newell said. “These places have maintained a perfect record all year round except maybe a few non-critical violations.”

This is the first year Mai Tai on Main, a Thai and Pan-Asian restaurant in Cottonwood, has won the award.

“We tried to do our best, and they awarded us,” owner Noi Olsen said. “We feel good.”

Rays of Sunshine Center, a preschool in Camp Verde, won the award for the fourth year in a row.

“It is exciting to me honestly,” Rays of Sunshine Center owner Shawna Norris said. “It means the state is recognizing our safe food-handling practices.

“Honestly, the only way I know how we achieve this award is by making sure we are compliant with all the rules and sticking with those and going beyond, making sure every standard was met.”

Norris thinks winning a Golden Plate Award signifies to parents that their children will be fed well and taken care of at Rays of Sunshine.

“I think they (awards) sure look good in the window and definitely attest to what we are about.”

Click to view a full list of the 2018 Golden Plate Award winners

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