Food service businesses earn sanitation awards

Twenty-five food service businesses in Mesa County have earned awards in an annual program recognizing superior sanitation practices.

The Mesa County Board of Health presents Blue Ribbon Awards to food service businesses that receive no violations of a critical nature during inspections conducted during the calendar year.

To qualify for the awards, businesses must provide to the general public full- or limited-service menus and seating. Over the course of the 20 years of the program, a total of 533 awards have been presented.

In addition to businesses, the health board also presented an additional 18 Blue Ribbon Awards this year to food service facilities operated at schools, hospitals and nonprofit organizations.

“The decision was based on input from the community,” said Dr. John Rodwick, president of the board. “The Blue Ribbon Award has become so prestigious and desirable that many organizations that didn’t formerly qualify asked to be included. The board heard these requests and responded.

Dan Sharp, nutritional services director  for Mesa County School District 51, said he’s pleased schools are now included in the Blue Ribbon program. “Our nutrition services team supports the mission to fuel safe and successful learning for District 51 students through ongoing food safety certification, training and vigilance,” Sharp said.

Six full-service food businesses in Grand Junction earned Blue Ribbon Awards: 626 On Rood, Conchitas Mexican Restaurant, Los Reyes Restaurant, Spoons, The Winery and W.W. Peppers.

Nineteen food service businesses offering limited menus receive Blue Ribbon Awards.

In Grand Junction, the recipients included the Burger King on Horizon Drive, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Holiday Inn Express, J’s Philly Steaks and Hoagies, Nick-N-Willy’s Pizza, Pablo’s Pizza, Papa Kelsey’s, Subway restaurants on Patterson and U.S. Highway 6 & 50, the Taco Bell restaurant on Horizon Drive and Western Colorado Community College snack bar.

Other recipients included Aspen Street Coffee in Fruita; Collbran Creamery in Collbran; Jimmy Johns, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in Clifton; Subway in DeBeque; Mumzel’s Crumpets, Cups and Cones and Slice O Life Bakery in Palisade.