How to Pass a Health InspectionOctober 1, 2013 By: Kristen Santoro
What would happen if a health inspector walked through the door of your bar today? Would you pass with flying colors? Or fail due to a simple mistake?
It is a common occurrence in the bar and restaurant business to be inspected regularly by the local public health department and every owner NEEDS to pass. Without a health inspection, your patrons and staff could fall ill to foodborne-illnesses through cross contamination. Not only could this ruin your reputation but the local authorities could shut down your bar for good.
Rules and regulations vary from state to state but, in general, health inspectors check for similar safeguards. The best way to make sure that you are always prepared for an inspections and practicing safe standards is by performing a self-inspection every week.
Here we have provided six overarching things to think about when conducting your self-inspection.
1. Inspections Standards – Obtain a copy of the inspection forms used by your local health inspection department. Reference these forms to make sure that your procedures and staff are up to par. Utilize chemical test strips to evaluate areas that may look clean even though they may not be.
2. Start Outside – The first thing an inspector sees (and your customer) is the outside of the building. Cleanliness is crucial and offers the ever important first impression.
3. Correct Mistakes – On the spot correct any mistakes you see. Communicate to your staff what is wrong and why you are fixing it. This facilitates employee watchfulness.
4. Temperature Guidelines – Go through the temperature guidelines and process used by staff when heating or cooling products. This includes when products arrive, are cooked, stored and served. Always
5. Employee Cleanliness - Ensure employees regularly wash their hands in a sink that is equipped with soap, hot water and paper towels. It is best to have two separate sinks in the kitchen; one for hand washing and one for washing dishes. Outer garments should never be soiled and hair should always be restrained.
6. Cross Contamination - Utensils and surfaces (including hands) that contact raw meats are not to come in contact with prepare ready-to-eat foods at any time. All surfaces and utensils should be sanitized at the end of a shift.