Winpisinger Center Kitchen Staff Again Awarded Gold Star for Food Safety

Once again, the dedicated IAM Local 4 members who work in the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center (W3 Center) kitchen have been honored by the St. Mary’s County Health Department with a 2023 Gold Star Award for excellent food safety practices.

The kitchen staff have received the award for more than five consecutive years.

“We all know how important it is to keep a clean kitchen for the health and safety of all the IAM members who dine with us,” said Winpisinger Center Kitchen Supervisor Cecilia Murphy. “The entire kitchen crew gets all of the credit, they all work together and it’s not just one person, it’s the whole crew.”

Murphy works side-by-side with a 10-person team who make up the W3’s kitchen staff and provide meals to IAM members, staff and visitors.

County health inspectors can drop in to evaluate certain aspects of food safety criteria at random times throughout the year. There is no warning as to when they will be performing an inspection or for what: food storage temperature, food handling practices, or other standards.

The county evaluates almost 500 food service facilities in St. Mary’s County to ensure food safety standards are being met. The W3 Center has consistently excelled in meeting the Gold Star Award requirements: 

  • No critical violations (based on Maryland regulations)
  • No temperature violations cited during a monitoring inspection
  • All violations noted by an inspector must be corrected by a 30-day follow-up inspection
  • No confirmed unsafe food handling complaints
  • At least one food service worker completed a recognized and approved Food Safety Class within the last two years

The county’s award is given annually to food service facilities that achieve superior food safety standards. The select few food establishments that achieve this high level of compliance receive a certificate and a window sticker designating them as Gold Star establishments. Recipients also receive special recognition from the Maryland General Assembly.

“Every IAM member who attends programs at the W3 Center knows how outstanding the kitchen staff is,” said W3 Center Director Mary McHugh. “It’s really wonderful to see their hard work and attention to quality recognized in the community as well.”

“The IAM members who work in the W3 Center kitchen take care of their fellow members with their excellent food preparation practices,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “We are all incredibly lucky to have kitchen staff who take such care and work so hard to keep all of W3’s guests fed with well-made, safe food. My thanks to this team for what they do to support the work of our union.”

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