The Barry County Health Department has awarded Silver Spoon certificates to 15 area food establishments for 2011.
Now in its third year, the Silver Spoon program recognizes local restaurants and food providers that have demonstrated excellence in public food safety and did not have any critical or non-critical violations between Jan. 1, 2011, and Dec. 31, 2011.
Establishments in Monett receiving the award include: the Barry-Lawrence Development Center, Coffee Cabin, Dairy Farmers of America, the Herb Depot, Harlan Fruit Company and Modern Variety.
Others receiving awards include: Big M Marina, Roaring River Waterslide and Roaring River State Park Store in Cassville; Dollar General Store in Purdy; L&L Stop and Shop in Exeter; the Wheaton Asian-American Market; and King's River Golf Course, Lakeside Marine and Viola Country Store in Shell Knob.
"This number reflects a slight increase over previous years," said Roger Brock, Barry County Health Department administrator. "This is certainly a challenge for full-blown food establishments to achieve. They have to stay on top of things, and that requires time and effort.
"I think the program does a good job of encouraging restaurant operators to keep a clean facility, and follow the health department's guidelines, rules and regulations," Brock added. "It's a helping tool."
Each facility receives a Silver Spoon certificate for their efforts.
"The Health Department congratulates these establishments on their accomplishments," said Brock. "We hope the Siver Spoon award will encourage all food establishments to strive to provide the safest food to Barry County residents."
The health unit's environmental services department conducts routine inspections of all food service establishments in the county.
Food service code violations are divided into two categories: critical and non-critical violations. Critical violations are more likely than other violations to contribute to food contaminations, or illness and/or injury. Non-critical violations, although important to the overall hygiene of the establishment, do not necessarily present an immediate threat to food contamination or illness and/or injury.