Restaurant owners know that health inspections are a necessary part of doing business. Of course, food safety is paramount, but there’s more to it than that. A high score on your health inspection can also boost your reputation and attract new customers.
But sometimes, even if you take all the proper precautions, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong and you could fail your inspection. Here are a few tips on how to avoid that worst-case scenario and ace your next health inspection.
Keep a tidy kitchen.
One of the quickest ways to fail a health inspection is to have a dirty kitchen. It is the hot spot for potential health hazards, so keeping it clean and organized is crucial.
Ensure all surfaces are clean and free of dirt, grease, and food debris. Do a thorough cleaning every night after closing, and don’t forget to clean those hard-to-reach spots like the tops of cabinets and range hoods.
A schedule for deep cleaning tasks, such as cleaning the oven or fridge, is also essential. These should be done regularly to prevent the build-up of grease and food debris. These proactive measures will show the health inspector you are serious about food safety. So, keep your kitchen clean and tidy at all times.
Invest in quality surfaces.
No matter how much you scrub, some surfaces are impossible to keep clean. That is especially true for porous materials like wood cutting boards and countertops. Over time, these surfaces can become stained and full of bacteria. So, investing in quality, non-porous surfaces that are easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria is crucial.
Stainless steel or glass cutting boards are a great option, as well as solid-surface countertops like granite or quartz. If you want to take things up a notch, you can upgrade to an ideal food processing flooring that provides a non-slip, easy-to-clean surface that meets all health code requirements. This way, you can be sure your surfaces are bacteria-free.
Have a food safety plan.
Another way to pass a health inspection with flying colors is to have a food safety plan. Many establishments don’t have one, but it is a must if you want to show the health inspector that you are serious about food safety.
A food safety plan outlines all the procedures and protocols you have to ensure food safety. It can include everything from how you receive and store food to how you prepare and serve it. It should also cover what to do in a power outage or other emergency.
By having a food safety plan, you can get a leg up on the competition and increase your chances of passing the inspection. With this document, inspectors can rest assured knowing that you are taking the necessary steps to be a safe and responsible restaurant.
Store food properly.
Raw materials, cooked food, and leftovers must be appropriately stored to prevent contamination. That means keeping them at the right temperature and labeling them correctly.
All raw food should be stored in a cool, dry place away from contaminants like chemicals or cleaning supplies. Labeling all food items with the date they were made or received is also important. In doing so, you can track when these food items are safe for preparation and consumption.
Improper food storage is one of the most common reasons restaurants fail their health inspection. So, don’t let this be the reason your restaurant gets shut down. Taking the necessary steps to ensure you are storing your food correctly will avoid any issues.
Train your staff on food safety procedures.
Even if you have all the health safety protocols and invest in premium food storage items, you can still fail your inspection if your staff doesn’t know how to handle food safely. Your staff is the ones in contact with the food the most, so they need to be well-trained in handling and to prepare it.
Regular training sessions on food safety procedures are a great way to ensure your staff is up-to-date on the latest practices. You can also post signs in the kitchen as a reminder of these procedures.
Remember, you can never be too safe when it comes to handling food. That’s why training your staff on food safety procedures is essential to passing a health inspection.
Achieving a passing grade on your health inspection is vital to the success of your restaurant business. Following these simple tips can help ensure that your next inspection goes off without a hitch. So, keep these in mind and be prepared for anything that comes your way.