Being prepared for a surprise visit from your local restaurant health inspector could mean the difference between a glowing score and being cited for health code violations. Rather than be caught off guard, it is vital to ensure you and your employees are adhering to the proper health code guidelines in your area. One way to do this is to do your own inspections on a regular basis, as this will help you identify potential issues you need to address and correct.
Ideally you should perform your own inspections on a weekly basis and use these tips:
- Conduct the inspection using the same form the health inspector uses. Doing so will allow you to put yourself in the place of the inspector and guarantee you are reviewing the same things the inspector will.
- Use previous inspection results for the last three or four inspections to identify common issues, problems, and areas you need to address. In addition, it can make assigning cleaning and maintenance tasks to your employees easier, so they are completed on a regular and frequent basis.
- Inspect your coolers, refrigerators, and freezers. Each of these units should have its own thermometer inside to confirm the actual temperature. You should also use a separate one to verify the reading is accurate. Make sure food is properly stored, labeled, and dated. Additionally, verify your employees are cleaning shelving units, behind shelves, and underneath.
- Review proper hand washing and food handling procedures with your employees. Schedule an employee meeting to remind everyone of the correct processes. Follow up with your management team to confirm they are monitoring employees and taking action when required for improper procedures.
- Deep clean the entire establishment on a weekly basis. Every nook, crack, and crevice in the front and back of the houses needs to be detailed cleaned. Do not forget the outside of the building, too, as well as the dumpster area.
- Repair, replace, and/or fix any broken, damaged, or nonworking equipment, flooring, windows, etc. Whenever you notice something is in need of repair or is no longer working, get it resolved sooner, rather than later.
- Enforce personal hygiene and dress codes. Employees need to wear clean uniforms and apparel each time they come to work. Their appearance not only affects your customers’ opinions, but also could result in being dinged on a health inspection. Further, finger nails should be trimmed and cleaned. Do not be afraid to address personal hygiene issues with specific employees in a one-on-one setting away from other staff.
- Run your operation as if the health inspector were coming each day. Since you never know when the health inspector will walk in the door, it is recommended to always run your business like they are going to show up unannounced at any minute. That way, when they do, you will be prepared.
For all of your restaurant uniform and apparel and restaurant products, like mats, bathroom supplies, cleaning equipment, and more, contact the restaurant uniform and products experts at Prudential Overall Supply by calling (800) 767-5536 today.