9 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Restaurant Inspection

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Written By DerrickCalvert

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9 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Restaurant Inspection

For a successful health inspection, it is important to be available at all times. Managers can conduct weekly, in house inspections to keep you ahead of the curve.

These are nine tips to help you prepare your team.

  • Use the same, or a very similar, form as your local health department and you will be able to put yourself in the shoes of the health inspector. Find out what regulations are being used by your local health department.
  • Take a look at your establishment from the outside.
  • Discuss any concerns with your kitchen staff after inspection. This will enable you to communicate the importance of food safety with your staff.

All staff should be on the same page. If you have employees who speak English as a second language, ensure they understand the importance of food safety for the success and growth of your restaurant. A professional translator might be worth your consideration. Sometimes, a bilingual employee might use terms and phrases that may not be understood in one language or might be misinterpreted by another.

Know your priorities. The following are priorities for kitchen staff: temperature and food timing, hygiene (including hand washing), and cross contamination. The temperature guidelines should include checking the temperature when products arrive, how they are stored, and how they are served.

  • Encourage hand washing. Place signs at the sinks in the kitchen and in the restrooms of employees.
  • Make sure your managers are current on food-safety practices. ServSafe can be used by restaurant staff.
  • Check your local health codes for any specific, local requirements.

To give a perspective to restaurateurs, get involved in politics. A good opportunity is to be part of your state’s revision committee on health-codes. You can also involve senior staff members in these committees.

How to get through a health inspection

Is your kitchen spotless? Does the grease trap have a clean lining? Are your hand sinks sparkling? If you find these questions disturbing, it is likely that a health inspector will be coming to your home.

But it doesn’t have be so stressful. An annual health inspection is a good way to make sure your cafe is safe and clean. Your cafe should be able pass any type of health inspection.

The checklist used by health inspectors is not secret. To ensure your cafe passes every inspection, speak to your council.

The good news? You can stay ahead of the game, and be ready when a health inspector walks into a cafe, clipboard in tow.

These are some suggestions to help you or your staff pass that health report

Hygiene & Health

All cafes that serve food should have facilities for hand washing and properly train their staff in food hygiene. A person who is sick with vomiting or diarrhoea should be kept away from the kitchen for 48-hours.

This is what safety inspectors look for:

  • Use gloves when cooking and chefs are handling ready-to-eat foods.
  • Kitchen staff wearing clean clothing
  • Staff are visible unwell or having a cough

Food handling

All food served in your cafe must arrive at the right temperature, be stored properly, displayed correctly, and then be disposed of. It should be delivered to your cafe at the correct temperature. Below 5 degrees Celsius for meat and milk, with a maximum of two hours.

Packaging is another thing you need to be aware of. Some materials can’t be used for food storage, so ensure that the packaging you use is compliant.

Food handling also includes:

  • Verify that food used for disposal is properly identified and kept separate from normal stock
  • The proper thawing
  • Sneeze guards must be used to protect self-serve bars.

Cleansing and sanitising

  • The best example of cleanliness in the kitchen is one that comes into direct contact with food.
  • Food poisoning is prevented by cleaning and sanitizing. It protects food from contamination by rats and cockroaches as well as other bugs.
  • For safety, use water-based cleaning products. Clean everything thoroughly at the conclusion of each work day. Be sure to properly store food and dispose of any rubbish.