16 Local Eateries Set “Gold” Standard for Food Safety

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For the second consecutive year, our Health Department recognizes local eateries for excellence in food safety practices and employee education.

Sixteen local food service operations, including an assisted living center, a suburban deli and an elementary school, received the second annual 14 Carrot Gold Food Safety Excellence Award as an acknowledgement of their commitment to food safety.

The awards are based on the results of inspections conducted in the previous year. These inspections are required by law and performed by our environmental health specialists.

“While every food service facility under our jurisdiction is required to meet minimum food safety requirements, these 16 establishments are to be commended for going above and beyond to safeguard their patrons from the risks of foodborne illness,” said Pieter Sheehan, director of the Division of Environmental Health. “We hope the recipients prominently display their award, and we look forward to honoring more facilities in the future.”

The recipients of the Health Department’s 14 Carrot Gold Food Safety Excellence Award:


  • Burke Health Care Center, 9450 Burke Lake Road, Burke
  • Mt. Daniel Elementary School, 2328 Oak St. N, Falls Church
  • INOVA Sunrise of Reston, 1778 Fountain Dr., Reston
  • Costco Wholesale #6206, 7940 Richmond Hwy., Alexandria
  • IHOP #4509, 6206 Interparcel Rd., Alexandria
  • Wendy’s #66, 7042 Little River Turnpike, Annandale
  • Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 7856 E. Tysons Corner Center, McLean
  • Oakton Elementary School, 3000 Chain Bridge Road, Oakton
  • Perk Express 7515 Colshire Dr., McLean
  • Sunrise Assisted Living, 9207 Arlington Blvd., Fairfax
  • The Perfect Pita, 8280 Greensboro Rd, McLean
  • George’s Steak N’ Things, 5624-C1 Ox Road, Fairfax Station
  • Panda Express # 2004, 11750 Fair Oaks Mall, Fairfax
  • KFC #K071110, 13962 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Chantilly
  • J J Deli, 909 Ferndale Avenue, Herndon
  • Noodles & Company, 10296 Main St., Fairfax


How Awards Process Works

Food service establishments can be nominated for the award by members of the food industry, the public, or from health inspectors. An awards team from the Health Department reviews the nominations and selects winners.

To be eligible for consideration, recipients of the 14 Carrot Gold Awards:

  • Cannot have any critical violations during inspections conducted in the last 24 months.
  • Have no more than six non-critical violations in the past year.
  • Employees (other than the certified food manager) must be able to explain and/or demonstrate proper food handling procedures related to the operation.
  • The facility must also have a valid permit to operate and be in good standing with the Health Department.

Sheehan noted that one inspection is only a snapshot in time, not necessarily a reflection of how an establishment does business on a day-to-day basis. That is why the awards focus on consistent food safety practices and policies, including employee training.

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The Health Department regularly inspects more than 3,800 food service establishments, restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, food carts, fair/festival trailers, and convenience stores each year in Fairfax County and the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church. Inspectors teach and enforce the code that regulates food serving and storing temperatures, employee hygiene, and overall cleanliness and sanitation. The department also reviews food establishment plans; responds to citizen complaints and inquiries; investigates foodborne illness outbreaks to determine the source and to minimize the spread of disease; provides food safety information; and holds food safety workshops.

For more information about the food safety program, call 703-246-2444 TTY 711 or visit https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/hd/food.

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