How To Pass A Health Inspection

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Clean Kitchen

What would happen if a health inspector walked through the doors to your establishment today? Would you get a few violations? Would you pass? Obviously every restaurant owner wants and needs to pass. Without a health inspection, your diners could fall ill to a foodborne-illness that would ruin your reputation and eventually put you out of business. Here are tips for keeping your restaurant in shape for whenever the next health inspector arrives.

The key to passing is being prepared, and it all starts

Image via Mike Licht,

Image via Mike Licht,

with doing a self-assessment on your own. Here is a handy checklist you can use when you do your self-assessment. Walk through your restaurant as if you were the health inspector, and use an outsider’s opinion. Here are some tips from the NRA:

  • After you do your own assessment, hold a review session with your kitchen staff and stress the importance of food temperature, awareness of food types and hand washing
  • Go through the temperature guidelines which include: “the temperature of products when they arrive, when they are stored and when they are served”
  • There are three types of food guidelines and they are divided into three categories: beef and beef blood, chicken and all other types of food. They can never touch each other in the preparation process
  • Post hand washing signs at all kitchen sinks and employee restrooms
  • Managers should be up-to-date on food-safety techniques
  • Don’t stress out when an inspector arrives! Ask to see their credentials first and do not refuse an inspection – “the examiner will likely get an inspection warranty that you can’t refuse and the examination will be even more thorough”
  • If the inspector finds violations, take notes! You can correct problems right in front of the inspector and they’ll note your initiative to fix them
  • When the exam is finished, make sure you sign the inspector’s report, it means you received a copy
  • Go above and beyond by asking the inspector to explain his findings to the staff and offer their advice on areas that need a little fixing up

    Image via star5112

    Image via star5112


Now…what do you do if you are cited for a violation? Don’t fret! Ask the inspector to explain the findings first, and if you don’t agree with them wait to appeal the decision later. Finally, think of your health inspector as a friend – they have the power of your restaurant’s reputation in their hands.

Some other tips from include:

  • Installing two sinks in your kitchen, one for hand washing and a double for washing dishes
  • Making your walls easy to clean by using paint that is easy to wash, non-absorbent and heat resistant
  • Make sure you have good ventilation in your kitchen!
  • Make sure all kitchen tools are clean before using and that there is no residue left of them from the last use

Visit Central’s website to find equipment and supplies to help maintain a clean kitchen. Keep these tips in mind for your next health inspection. The exams are serious business, and can make or break your restaurant. You wouldn’t want all of your hard work to go to waste! Take these precautions and be glad you now know how to pass a health inspection.

Want to read more about food safety and health inspections? Check out these links:


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