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Gold Seal Program

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Published on November 10, 2016. Last modified on July 09, 2018


Gold Seal Restaurant or Food Facility Search

Interested in seeing if a Restaurant or Food Facility has a Gold Seal? Click here to search! For a better mobile experience, please download the Free RESTAURANT Inspection Results App:( Android)( iphone).

What is the Gold Seal Program?

  • A program developed by the Environmental Health Food Protection Program in collaboration with the food industry.
  • A posting for Public Notification Inspection Seal for qualifying retail food facilities in compliance with state laws.
  • Restaurants, food preparation facilities that have met rigid food safety standards.
  • Awarded after a routine inspection has been conducted and with discretion of the inspector.
  • Certain Criteria in Inspection Report must be met to qualify for seal.
  • The program is voluntary for food facilities.
  • Evaluation program rather than a grading system compared to other counties.

What is the purpose of the Gold Seal Program

The Gold Seal helps consumers identify facilities that meet or exceed health standards based on state laws. The seal is awarded to food operators for maintaining exceptional health and sanitation standards at the facility. It serves as a handy tool “eye opener” for public and food facility operators to be aware of education of food safety and food borne illnesses. It helps to promote:
  • A sense of security to eat at the restaurant
  • Food facilities to take immediate action on complaints
  • Valuable feedback for public and food facilities.
  • Involvement between customers and restaurants
  • There is always room for improvement
Gold seal reflects the restaurant's degree of compliance with all applicable food and safety regulations relating to public health.

How do restaurants obtain a Gold Seal?

If a facility has been determined to be in substantial compliance with the California Retail Food Code following a complete unannounced inspection conducted by a Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS), they may be eligible. The Inspector will then sign and date the Gold Seal and issue it to the facility. The seal will remain valid until the next inspection or based on the discretion of the inspector.

Inspection Report Criteria

Substantial Compliance is the following:
  • No major violations (red font) as listed on the inspection report filled out by the inspector
    • Demonstration of food safety knowledge
    • Employee Health and Hygiene Practices
    • Time and Temperature Relationships
    • Protection from Contamination
    • Food from Approved Sources and Conformance with Approved Procedures
    • High Susceptible Pop., Water/Hot Water
    • Liquid Waste Disposal/Storm Water Compliance
  • No more than 5 other violations or at the discretion of the department.
    • Supervision, Personal Cleanliness, General Food Safety Requirements
    • Food Storage/Display/Service, Equipment/Utensils/Linens
    • Physical Facilities: plumbing, garbage, toilet facilities
    • Permanent Food Facilities: floors, walls and ceilings
    • Signs Requirements/Compliance and Enforcement

Examples of Substantial Compliance with food standards at a facility.

  • Holding temperatures within 5 F out of the temperature danger zone (41 F- 135 F) for potentially hazardous foods.
  • Cooking temperatures meeting regulatory requirements
  • Proper Employee Hygiene and food handling

What does a Gold Seal look like and what does it say?

MonSeal75The Gold Seal shall have the date & signature of Inspector and be posted for public view. It states:
"This food facility was inspected by Monterey County Health Department Environmental Health Division and found to be in substantial compliance with California food safety and sanitation standards.”

Revocation of Gold Seal

The gold seal is withdrawn if any of the following occurs:

  • If facility is determined not to be in substantial compliance with food standards, the seal will be withdrawn and will  not be replaced until the facility is again determined to meet state laws.
  • Due to non-compliance and the facility is ordered to close.
  • If the facility’s permit is temporarily suspended or revoked due to an immediate danger to the public health.
  • Only a REHS may remove the seal from a facility.

Questions and Answers

If you have any questions or need more information, you can call or visit any of our offices below:Monday – Friday 8 AM to 5 PM

Salinas Office
1270 Natividad Road
Salinas, CA 93906
Telephone:(831) 755-4505
Monterey Office
1200 Aguajito Road
Monterey, CA 93940
Telephone: (831) 647-7654
King City Office
620 Broadway St., Ste. 70
King City, CA 93930
Telephone:(831) 755-4505