September 12, 2006
Sacramento's Food-Safety Oscars

As different as they may be in concept and clientele, the Sacramento restaurants Mamma Susanna’s Italian Pizzeria, Marrakech Moroccan Restaurant, Nationwide Freezer Meats, Green Papaya and Hooters all share one thing in common today: They are among nearly 600 businesses to get an Award of Excellence in Food Safety from the County of Sacramento's Environmental Management Department.

The awards mean the 596 honored businesses have gone at least two years without being cited for any major violation of food-safety regulations. They represent around 12 percent of the county's food-preparation sites, which are inspected routinely at least twice a year.

Award recipients are divided into several different classifications, such as restaurants like the Elk Grove branch of In-N-Out Burgers and the fancy French Fair Oaks restaurant La Boheme; bars like the Torch Club in midtown Sacramento and Rumors along Stockton Boulevard; and bakeries like Shelton's Wedding Cake Designs in Sacramento, as well as the bakeries at several branches of supermarket chains in the area.

In interpreting the awards, Mel Knight, director of the county's Environmental Management Department, said they recognize businesses that have shown a consistent pattern of using the best public-health practices. "If people are concerned (about the safety of restaurants and other food-preparation sites), the awards could be used as a guide," said Knight.

Toward that end, award-winning businesses are listed both alphabetically and by zip code and street address at the department's Web site.

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