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Award of Excellence FAQs

If you have any questions regarding the Award of Excellence program, please contact your Environmental Health Specialistat 714-433-6000.
How do you qualify for the Award of Excellence Program?

An Award of Excellence certificate will be issued to those food establishments that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Had not received a Major Violation on any routine inspection for the previous calendar year;
  • Had an average of no more than six (6) Minor Violations for the previous calendar year;
  • Had at least one (1) individual who has passed an approved food safety exam for the previous calendar year; and
  • Had a minimum of two inspections within the previous calendar year.
What is a Major Violation?
A Major violation is defined as any violation that presents an immediate danger to the public's health and safety (such as, but not limited to, improper food temperature control, lack of hot water, or vermin infestation). The criteria for a Major violation are based on Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. A Major Violation may result in the suspension of the food facility's health permit and consequently the closure of the food facility.
What is a Minor Violation?
A Minor is defined as any violation that may present a substantial risk to the public's health and safety (such as, but not limited to, improper food storage/display, signs of vermin, or utensils/equipment not maintained clean).

A Minor is defined as any violation that does not pose a significant risk to the public's health and safety (such as, but not limited to, equipment/utensils in disrepair, minor deterioration of the food facility, or truth in labeling).

In what manner and how often is the Award of Excellence Certificate issued?
Following review and tabulation of inspection data from the previous calendar year, the Award of Excellence certificates will be issued each February and mailed to qualifying food establishments. Additionally, a list of each food establishment that qualified for the Award of Excellence certificate will be posted on the Environmental Health Food Protection Program web site.
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