Seven Vineland Public Schools were among the 35 food establishments that earned the Five-Star Award for outstanding sanitation and food safety from the Vineland Health Department.
The awards were handed out for the 21st year in a recognition ceremony held Tuesday, March 12 at the Vineland City Council meeting.
Dining establishments are nominated for the award by the city’s health inspectors if they are impressed by the efforts made to ensure public health and safety.
Johnstone School and Durand Elementary Schools earned this recognition for 20 years each – the highest number of awards in the city. Rossi School wasn’t far behind, earning their 19th award. Rounding out the group was Dane Barse Elementary School at 16 years, Veterans Memorial Middle School, with their 15th award, Petway Elementary School with their seventh award, and Sabater Elementary School with their sixth award.
“These awards reflect a great deal of hard work and dedication,” said Purvesh Patel, Executive Director of Food Service. “I'm proud that the achievements of our staff will make a positive difference in the safety of our students.”
The rest of the top award winners were:
Tiny Tots Preschool (first year), Johnson’s Pizza Queen (first year), Compass Academy (first year), Creative Achievement (first year), Soprano’s Pizza (first year), Active Day (first year), Cumberland County College (second year), Hampton Inn (second year), Taco Bell (W. Landis Ave., second year), Wawa (610 Brewster, second year), Wawa (61 S. Main Road, third year), Matias Deli & Grocery (third year), Chick-fil-A (third year), Starbucks (third year), Salad Works (third year), Weisman’s Children’s Medical DC (fourth year), Popeye’s (fourth year), Luciano Center, CCC (sixth year), Inspira Life (eighth year), McDonald’s (S. Delsea Drive, ninth year), Serene Custard (ninth year), Burger King (315 N. Delsea Drive, tenth year), Taco Bell (S. Delsea Drive, tenth year), Rural Development (11 years), Jim Main’s Bakery (11 years), Tri-County Head Start 3 (14 years), Burger King (S. Main Road, 14 years), Community Medical Day Care (16 years).
The criteria for the award are as follows:
• The facility must have received only "satisfactory" ratings during the past year. It must excel in those food safety practices that have proven to reduce food-borne illness such as in cooking, cooling, reheating, and personal hygiene.
• No confirmed food-borne illness has occurred at your establishment during the past year.
• Vineland’s retail food license must be current.
• The manager or employee must be a "certified food-handler" by the Vineland Health Department or similar agency.
• No evidence of smoking in any preparation area and appropriate smoking policy sign must be posted at the public entrance (if applicable). Each establishment may consider adopting a "smoke-free" policy.
• Some extra effort must be made for sanitation such as self-inspections, in-house training, or many employees being certified at a food handler’s course. Records must be available as proof.
Pictured (L-R): Deborah Cavagnaro (Barse), Lisa A Groves (Petway), Lori Kalowitz (Durand), Purvesh Patel (Director of Food Service), Bernadette Jester (Johnstone), Michelle Peggin (Sabater), and Rosaleen Chavez (Rossi).
Not pictured: Michelle Divincenzo (Veterans Memorial)