If you own or run a restaurant, you know that health inspections play a critical role in the operation and safety of your establishment as they ensure food safety regulations are followed so customers don’t get sick.
And while health inspections can sometimes come unannounced, restaurant managers can reduce their risk of violations by preparing in advance and following a few simple guidelines.
Conduct Mock Health Inspections
Regardless of whether your restaurant has had a health inspection before, you can prepare by going through your restaurant with a self-inspection checklist to find problems — or potential problems — before the inspector arrives.
That means checking under counters, stoves, and other hard-to-reach places to be sure they are clean and pest-free; that steps are taken to prevent cross-contamination; surfaces, hands, and equipment should be sanitized; and employees are wearing proper uniform and hair restraints.
Stay Up-To-Date On Current Food Rules & Regulations
To keep your restaurant up to par, you need to keep yourself and your staff informed on the most current rules and regulations from your state’s health department.
You do not want to be behind on the latest rules and find yourself with a citation because you didn’t know what to look for during your mock inspection.
Train All Staff On Restaurant Health & Safety
All restaurant staff should be thoroughly trained on health and safety regulations in your restaurant. This includes food prep safety like:
- Washing hands, surfaces, and equipment after handling raw meats, including seafood
- Washing hands after using the restroom
- Storing both perishable and non-perishable foods correctly
- Cooking all food to their safe temperatures
- Keeping raw meat separate from other foods
Remember to enforce these rules and stress the importance of following them.
For example, preventing cross-contamination of foods will protect those customers will food allergies, especially if you have “allergy-free” on your menu.
Check Those Expiration Dates
Since health inspections can sometimes come out of the blue, it is essential that you keep an eye on the expiration dates of your food and other perishables to ensure that they are fresh and not passed their usable date.
You can prevent food spoilage and waste while saving on food costs by taking control of your menu and portion size and not buying more food than you will need.
A cloud-based POS system can help you consolidate your data and give you instant access to your food costs and inventory so you aren’t taken by surprise by shortages or overstocks.