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How to Prepare for a Health Code Inspection

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If you own a restaurant, the health code inspector might send waves of fear shooting down your spine. But, it doesn’t have to be that way, as long as you’re well-prepared. What are health code violations, and how can you prevent them? By learning that, there’s nothing to worry about if an inspector arrives.

Make Sure Food Is Stored Safely

 

One of the main things an inspector looks at is how you’ve stored food. If it’s not in a climate-controlled setting, it could be a violation. What are health code violations? Well, another one you need to watch out for would be cross-contamination.

Never let meat touch produce when it’s in storage. If it has come into contact with anything, throw it away. Otherwise, the health inspector could issue a citation.

Give Your Kitchen Staff Separate Cutting Boards

 

Cross-contamination isn’t just a risk when food is in storage. It can also be a problem while it’s being prepared.

So, don’t let your kitchen staff use the same cutting board for meat and produce. Make sure you’ve given them enough to swap boards between items. That way, the inspector won’t have a reason to cite you for cross-contaminating the prep area.

Depending on your restaurant’s size, you may want to get more boards. For a family-owned business, 2 or 3 of them per employee is usually sufficient.

Review Employee Hygiene Policies

Since the health crisis, hygiene has been on everyone’s mind, including the inspector’s. So, don’t let anyone get away with dirty hands if they are working in the kitchen.

That would be an obvious violation if it were seen by an inspector, so don’t let it happen. If you’ve put up posters in the bathroom, that’s usually enough of a reminder. But, you may want to address hygiene in the morning as you go over daily announcements. By giving everyone a reminder daily, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Hire a Pest Control Service

Finally, one of the fastest ways to get a health code violation is by letting pests in the kitchen. If an inspector has caught a glimpse of them, he’s not going to leave without giving you one.

So, go around the building’s perimeter and look for anywhere a pest might enter. As soon as you’ve spotted anything suspicious, call a pest control service right away. They’ll make sure nothing can get inside the building, protecting you from violations.

Even if you’ve hired one before, it’s never a bad idea to hire one again. They’re worth having around at least once a year if you can afford it.

Preparing for a Health Code Inspection

No business owner wants to deal with a health code violation. If you get enough of them, your business can’t stay open. However, even one of them has a hefty fine attached to it. So, it’s never something you want to get, especially if you’re running on tight margins.

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