Avon restaurant earns perfect scores for cleanliness
AVON — The Blue Plate Bistro is both a great place to eat, and you can trust it.
The Avon eatery earned a perfect health inspection score two straight years from the Colorado Department of Health, the only restaurant in the region to do so.
“It’s important to us since chef Adam and I both come from fine dining backgrounds,” said Ellie Roustom, who owns Blue Plate Bistro with husband and chef Adam.
The Blue Plate Bistro has an open kitchen, so if something was amiss, then you, and the health inspectors, can see it.
Nothing is amiss.
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“No full service restaurant has ever done it,” Ellie said. “We’re really behind our employees.”
Restaurant staff do not know when health inspectors will show up, although they have a pretty good idea what they’ll be looking for when they do.
“They show up and check everything,” Ellie said.
Inspector Jessi Denio works with Eagle County’s environmental health department.
Restaurant inspections are the bulk of her department’s work, she said. They also inspect childcare facilities and schools, convenience stores, events such as farmers markets that have food vendors licenses … the list is long and comprehensive.
“Environmental health covers a wide range,” Denio said
A full service restaurant such as the Blue Plate Bistro has to meet a higher standard than many other places that serve packaged food.
A convenience store will be inspected less often than a restaurant that serves two or three meals per day to hundreds of people, Denio explained.
“The more a restaurant has going on, the more chances they have for things to go wrong,” Denio said. “It’s rare for a full service restaurant to achieve these kinds of results two years in a row.”
The county’s environmental health department does around 1,000 restaurant inspections per year, Denio said. A restaurant such as the Blue Plate Bistro usually gets inspected twice per year, and everything is examined, from food temperature to the staff’s hygiene to maintenance cleanliness. They also try to teach staff how to be safer.
Ray Merry is director of Eagle County’s environmental health department. When he sends an inspector into a restaurant, those inspectors identify the risks and work with the staff to remove them.
“If their inspections come back perfect, that means they care about what they’re doing,” Merry said