The best way to be prepared for a health inspection is to be audit-ready at all times. This means that you need to focus on the essentials so that when an inspector walks in the door you don’t have to worry. Here are some techniques that you need to employ to prepare for all types of inspections.
Practice Food Guidelines
You wouldn’t want to eat at a restaurant that wasn’t following basic food handling guidelines. Lack of cleanliness could also result in you contracting a foodborne ailment. You need to follow the same principles at your own restaurant. Encouraging food handling practices in all of your employees and ensuring that they have the pertinent knowledge base will go a long way in helping you to achieve this goal. Establish weekly training sessions to ensure that they know what needs to be done.
Posting instructions for items like proper handwashing, temperatures that foods needs to be stored at, and a diagram of food storage in your refrigerators will show an inspector that you’re taking food handling guidelines seriously. You can prove that any issues that are observed are due to inattention to detail on the part of your employees and not caused by a more systemic issue at your restaurant. Employing this strategy can help your restaurant keep the doors open.
Avoid Drainage Concerns
Clogged drains and water ponding in your restaurant is more than just a cleanliness problem. It can also create a bad work environment and encourage the spread of mold and rot. Look into waterproofing solutions so that you can prevent these types of issues from occurring at your restaurant. It’s easier to keep something out than to try and clean up the mess after the fact. Have your drains snaked regularly to avoid a backup of water. Another thing to look into is the proper disposal of grease. You don’t want to experience a kitchen fire because your grease wasn’t being handled in the right way.
Review Old Reports
Taking a look at old inspection reports will help to showcase your areas of weakness. This will give you a place to work on in improving the quality of your restaurant. Findings aren’t issued just to penalize you. They’re an opportunity for you to build upon your knowledge base. Read up on any guidelines that may have changed. Implementing these changes before your next inspection can help you to avoid being issued a poor inspection report.
Preparing for an inspection doesn’t need to be time consuming if you’re following the rules. Use these guidelines to get your restaurant ready for whenever the inspector arrives. As an added bonus, you will be ensuring that your employees and customers eat and work in a healthy environment.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan