Huron County Public Health (HCPH) has announced the winners of the 2018 Gold Plate Awards.
Vargo's Drive-in is one of nine places in Norwalk that earned the honor. Back manager Tracy Casalinova said it showed how much commitment and quality goes into the food and service the ice cream shop has to offer.
"It says we're very conscious of everything we do," said Casalinova, who is also the daughter of owner Ron Casalinova. "All the managers and the owners are focused on health and (quality). One of the owners, he’s almost to the level where he could be inspector himself."
She said one way Vargo's has kept up with the standards and requirements easily by attending quality and training classes offered by HCPH. The manager said she thinks the health and safety award perfectly compliments the quality and taste of the food they have to offer as well, something she said has stood the test of time.
"We don’t change anything; the sloppy Joes and things we make have been done the same way for the last 50 years," she said. "And we don’t cut corners — on anything. Everyone that comes in is trained the same way over and over again. And we only have a couple cooks. ... That keeps it all pretty much consistent."
Gilbert's Place, at 130 E. Main St., Bellevue, also met the requirements through the restaurant' diligence and attention to detail owner Jennifer Mazzaro said.
"We work every day to make sure things are clean and properly dated, and meet all the requirements and standards," Mazzaro said of the business that opened in 2015. "It's something that you have to do everyday."
She said the award reflects the "quality" and standards their dishes are held to.
"It's an award that tells we do well with the health departments standards," she said. "And it shows that people can come here and not worry about the health requirements being met (with their food)."
HCPH’s sanitarians perform a wide variety of public health functions including inspection regulation, and enforcement of public health laws regarding food facilities.
The Gold Plate Award is an acknowledgment given to food service establishments that maintain excellent food safety practices. The awards are given annually and are based on the establishments’ ability to meet certain criteria, encouraging compliance with Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code (OAC 3717).
The Gold Plate Award program is voluntary and facilities must apply to be considered.
Other winners included:
• Buckeye Pub & Grill
• Carriage House of Fisher-Titus Medical Center
• Domino’s Pizza, Norwalk
• Domino’s Pizza, Willard
• East of Chicago Pizza Co., Norwalk
• East of Chicago Pizza, Greenwich
• Fisher-Titus Medical Center
• H&B’s Hop
• Miller’s Drive In LLC
• New London Subway/Gas Depot
• Norwalk Memorial Home
• Services for the Aging Inc., Norwalk
• St. Paul’s Christian Day Care Center
• Subway, Willard
• The Bellevue Hospital
• The Willows, Bellevue
• Twilight Gardens
• Wakeman Elevator
• Western Reserve Elementary
• Western Reserve High School
• Willard City Schools
• Willard Services for the Aging
Inspection reports for these establishments and other licensed programs can be found at: https://www.healthspace.com/Clients/Ohio/Huron/Huron_Web_Live.nsf