5 Ways to Prepare for a Restaurant Health Inspection Encourage good habits. After each annual health inspection , there’s always the chance your staff might fall back into old habits and overlook minor violations. Schedule regular staff meetings. Keep staff current on food safety practices. Put yourself in the diners’ shoes.
The inspector will make sure that all processed and pre-made ingredients used by the kitchen come from approved sources, namely licensed commercial kitchens, and are stored properly. From there, it’s time to inspect the static areas of the restaurant , things that don’t change much from day to day.
During their inspection , a health inspector will be on the lookout for things like: Uncovered stored food. Inappropriate containers. No labels on your food for “use-by” dates. No gloves on your employees. Storing raw ingredients under dripping meat. Signs of pets. Storing cleaning products near the pantry.
If a restaurant fails to fix a critical violation, it can be fined. There are a handful of super-serious health code violations that could provoke a health inspector to temporarily shut down a restaurant until the problem is fixed.
Common Health Code Violations and How to Avoid Them in Your Restaurant Time and Temperature. Together, time and temperature play a big role in determining the safety of the food in your kitchen. Food Storage. Cross-Contamination. Personal Hygiene. Chemical Usage and Storage.
A health inspector is allowed to visit your venue at any reasonable time without notice. As part of their job, they’re obligated to do a certain number of inspections a year (once every six months is common), but they’re also required to do an inspection if a customer complains.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare for the inspection . Provide open access to areas that need to be checked. Clear the perimeter. Check the roof. Keep a clean house. Replace any bulbs that are out. Make sure your toilets are functioning properly. Put in a fresh furnace return filter.
How often are restaurants and markets inspected? A facility can be inspected from 1 to 3 times a year . The frequency is based on the public health risk associated with the food products served, the methods of food preparation, and the operational history of the food facility. How are restaurant and markets graded?
A food safety checklist is used to ensure that food is properly stored, handled, and prepared. Inspect and evaluate staff’s personal hygiene, food handling and storage processes, and proper waste disposal. Take photos of compliant and non-compliant items.
The health inspector will meticulously check cooking, holding and storage temperatures of all meat, poultry, seafood and ready made food products to assure they are at safe temperatures. They will also ask to see records to assure you are doing the same.
Obviously, health inspections vary from locale to locale. but there are some common infractions that you see the service staff busted for over and over. This includes gum chewing because the health inspector doesn’t know that you are chewing gum – he or she simply sees your jaws masticatin’. And that’s all it takes.
Call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or report the complaint online. For Help with Restaurant Food Problems: Call the Health Department in your city, county or state.
Bad Customer Service. Poor service is an obvious reason for any restaurant closing. A reputation for bad service spreads like wildfire and can seem at times irreparable. Customer service is integral to staying open, as even the best three-Michelin-starred restaurant would shutter with bad service.
Critical violations are violations that pose a high risk to food safety and would likely cause foodborne illness, like improper handwashing or holding of food.
General Points-Based Scoring
|90 or higher||Good||One or two low-risk violations May have one high-risk violation|
|80-89||Adequate||Several low-risk violations May have one high-risk violation|
|70-79||Needs Improvement||Multiple low- and high-risk violations|
|69 or lower||Poor||Many low- and high-risk violations|