Experts in food safety like what they found at this plant in Salida

Blue Diamond Growers won the Plant of the Year award from the Safe Food Alliance for its almond-processing operation in Salida.

The statewide group presented the honor Wednesday, April 3, during its annual Food Safety Conference in Monterey.

The award is based on unannounced audits and other indicators of how well food companies keep their products safe to eat.

Blue Diamond, a grower-owned cooperative, is the world’s largest almond producer. It employs about 1,500 people at its Sacramento headquarters and at plants in Salida and Turlock. The Salida plant has been upgraded in recent years to increase volume and enhance food safety.

“This recognition is a direct result of Blue Diamond’s commitment to food safety and our team members’ dedication to our vision of delivering the benefits of almonds to the world,” said Brian Barczak, senior vice president of global manufacturing operations, in a news release.

The Safe Food Alliance is based in Sacramento and has a testing laboratory in Modesto, along with sites in Kingsburg and Yuba City.

Gallo Center makes a list

The Gallo Center for the Arts won recognition from Pollstar, which tracks the live entertainment business. The Modesto center’s Mary Stuart Rogers Theatre ranked 107th among thousands of theater venues worldwide in the year ending Nov. 21, 2018. A total of 52,889 tickets were sold.

The Rogers space can seat up to 1,248 people. The Foster Family Theatre in the same building can hold 440.

The top theater venue by far was Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, with 1.33 miillion tickets sold. Pollstar also ranks arena and club venues.

Realtor draws notice

Raman Singh, president and broker at the JRP Group in Modesto, was named to the 30 Under 30 list by Realtor Magazine for 2019.

Singh and the other young professionals around the nation will be profiled in the May/June issue. His brief statement for the Realtor website includes this:

”I love doing commercial real estate. The complexities, negotiations and creativity involved in putting together a deal are exhilarating ... There are so many moving parts to a transaction, and I’ve learned to rely on the quality people around me to make this giant puzzle a completed masterpiece.”

Doctor earns fellowship

Dr. Zena White, a third-year member of the Valley Family Medicine Residency at Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, will spend two years studying women’s health. She has been accepted into the VA San Diego Healthcare System Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health.

White will graduate in July from the residency, which trains physicians in partnership with Doctors and other health-care providers. She was born in Los Angeles and earned her medical degree at St. Georges University in Grenada.

And finally ...

Save Mart has launched its annual fund-raising campaign for Valley Children’s Healthcare. Through April 15, shoppers at 45 stores can donate $2, $3 or $5 at the checkout stands.

The participating stores include four in Modesto, two each in Turlock and Sonora, and one each in Ripon, Riverbank, Oakdale, Ceres, Patterson, Atwater, Merced and Los Banos.

Valley Children’s is based near Madera and serves 12 counties from San Joaquin to Santa Barbara. In February, it opened an outpatient center on Pelandale Avenue in Modesto.

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