Mesa County Public Health expands recognition program

Jeff Kuhr
Jeff Kuhr

Mesa County Public Health has expanded a program recognizing local businesses that meet high standards for health, quality and safety.

The Blue Ribbon Award program applies not only to retail food establishments, but also child care facilities, schools, swimming pools and body art businesses.

“Our restaurants, grocery and convenience stores, food trucks, care facilities and catering companies have embraced the opportunity to meet higher standards, and we want to open that up to all of the regulatory facilities we oversee,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Public Health. “Each program will have a different set of standards to achieve beyond their mandated regulations. We’re in the process of determining those standards for our child care facilities, body art facilities, schools and pools.”

Retail food establishments have to meet the following standards to achieve Blue Ribbon Award status: At least 90 percent of food handlers have a Mesa County Food Handler Card or ServSafe certificate; a food safety certified manager remains on premises during operations; and the facility has implemented proactive procedures, such as documentation of temperature logs, self-inspection forms and pest control contracts.

Kuhr said he hopes the Blue Ribbon Award will help residents identify those businesses meeting high standards. Qualifying businesses will receive a sticker for their door or window, a plaque and a certificate from Mesa County Public Health. Qualifying businesses also will be featured on the MCPH website.