Story by Gregory Mitchell
Naval Air Station Pensacola
NAVAL AIR STATION PENSACOLA, Florida – Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola’s Jet Port Café’ dining facility was awarded five-star accreditation during the 2019 assessment cycle for maintaining the highest level in Navy food service, Aug. 2.
The five-star accreditation recognizes overall food service excellence by evaluating key areas in customer service, cleanliness and management. An independent team reviewed food preparation, management, administration, equipment safety, sanitation, plastic waste and disposal at each competing facility.
With the five-star accreditation, the galley will now compete for the Captain Edward F. Ney Award for food service excellence, which is given to the best US Navy galleys among those that earn a five-star rating from a Navy evaluation team.
“There are only four ashore galleys in the Navy competing for the Ney award, and being in that type of company means that we are consistently maintaining the highest food service standards and providing the best customer and food service support to our customers,” said Paul Poling, NAS Pensacola food service officer. “Being the top galley in the region means that the efforts of the entire galley staff were recognized by senior leadership. No one person wins the Ney for the operation. It takes the entire galley team to ensure that every day the service is consistently outstanding.”
To achieve the five-star accreditation a facility needs to receive at least 790 points out of a possible 820 from the food management inspectors. This year’s award marks the 15th consecutive selection for Jet Port Café’.
Once a five-star accreditation is awarded, it will be retained for one year, though Navy dining facilities need to be ready at all times, due to the reality that inspection teams do not announce when they are coming.
“The award is based on strict criteria regarding the overall quality of food service management from food preparation, storage, record-keeping, inventory practices, financial accountability, training, facility structure and promotion of healthy eating programs,” said Poling. “We have a warehouse department, a records department and a training department that all have to work in concert with the food preparation area. If everyone is not working as one team, it shows.”
Established in 1958 by the Secretary of the Navy, the Ney Memorial Awards program is co-sponsored by the International Food Service Executives Association to encourage and recognize excellence in Navy Food Service programs.
“The five-star award showed off our hard work as a whole; our skillset as foodservice professionals,” said Culinary Specialist Submarine Second Class Petty Officer Lynell McPherson, Jet Café’ Leading Petty Officer. “To be the largest galley in the Southeast Region and to perform at this level is amazing to me. Not only are we the largest, we are the best and now we are up for the Ney Award to prove it. This is all attributed to the efforts of our entire team; from those in the front serving, to those in the back preparing, to include our supply team and our administrative efforts.”
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