Preparing for a restaurant inspection is one of the most important things that you can do as a restaurant owner. There are a number of tasks that should be on a health inspection checklist. These restaurant safety inspections can prove quite influential in how your restaurant performs, so you need to prepare properly. Here are four things that you can do to prepare for health and safety restaurant inspections.
What to Review Before Your Restaurant Health Inspection
Food Storage Areas
This may seem obvious, but it is vital that your restaurant stores its food properly. Proper food storage can prevent spoilage or contamination. You should store food that is cooked and ready to eat above raw food. Additionally, you should ensure that all food is contained or wrapped properly in order to prevent spills or drips.
To store food properly, ensure that all food in the restaurant is stored a minimum of six inches above the floor on pallets, racks, or shelves. You should also make sure that all employees use utensils when appropriate to decrease the amount of direct hand contact with your restaurant’s prepared food.
Good employee hygiene is critical to prevent food-born illnesses. Because of this, inspectors will pay close attention to whether employees are following proper standards. These standards apply to staff handling food and service such as:
- Wearing hairnets and facial hairnets
- Regularly washing hands and using proper hand-washing techniques
- Wear clean clothes and proper closed-toed shoes
- Smoking and eat areas are limited to specific areas away from food prep stations
- Replace single-use gloves after each food-handling task
- Employees should be sent home when feeling sick
Food Preparation Areas
Cross-contamination can easily occur in restaurants. That’s why it’s important for kitchen staff to be hyper-aware of separating tools and food prep stations for raw meats and ready-to-eat foods. Owners should review the tools used and make sure that they are clearly labeled so that staff can easily identify which tools are used for the different food preparation stages. After pep, food should be correctly labelled and stored with date stamps in the freezer and refrigerator.
Manage and Eliminate Pests
Health and safety inspectors will examine your restaurant to see if there are any pests. Restaurants are at high risk for pest infestations because of the amount of food available. Even the smallest cracks and dead spaces are places where pests can enter and hide. Partnering with a professional commercial pest control service can make sure that your restaurant is pest free. Many pest control companies also have an integrated pest management plan that helps to routinely check restaurants for possible pest infestations and stop them before they become larger problems.
Waste that is not properly disposed of can easily attract pests and can contaminate food. The inspector will be looking to ensure the restaurant has strict procedures for waste management. Restaurant owners should ensure that waste is stored in a sanitary way, is regularly removed from the kitchen, and that garbage containers are properly sealed, cleaned and sanitized.
Ensure that Your Restaurant Performs Proper Temperature Control
If your restaurant cooks food improperly or stores it at unsafe temperatures, your customers can get sick due to an accumulation of bacteria. You must make sure that your restaurant cooks all meats until they reach safe internal temperatures. Ensure that all meat thermometers in your restaurant are working properly. You should examine all the thermometers in your restaurant’s freezers and refrigerators to ensure that they are in the right temperature zone and that they are accurate.
Steps to Take to Prepare for Your Health Inspection
Review these checklist items to help you protect your customers and your business during your health inspection for your restaurant.
- Stay up to date on your current health regulations for your province and city
- Review your latest pest inspection reports from your provider
- Review and train staff on health inspections questions and tasks
- Conduct your own self-inspections to make sure you are always prepared
- Create cleaning and maintenance schedules for front and back of house teams
Prepare for Restaurant Health Inspections with ASAP Pest Control
ASAP Pest Control provides all the pest control services that your restaurant needs to help owners ensure that they are compliant and up to code for health inspections. We offer thorough pest control and removal treatments, as well as continuous monitoring programs for long-term peace of mind. Our customized Integrated Pest Management Program are designed to meet your needs and can help you stay ahead of problems quickly. If you are preparing for restaurant safety inspections, call us today so we can make the preparation process easier with our excellent pest control services.