Hygiene and food safety inspections are one of many procedures put in place by the government to ensure that food is safe for consumers. They aim to reduce poor food handling practices and protect consumers from the potential spread of food-borne illness. Businesses that fail to meet legal health and hygiene standards may be subjected to closure and hefty fines, which can cost business owners a great deal of money.
To protect your business and its reputation, here are five tips to help you prepare for your restaurant’s hygiene and food safety inspection.
1. Refer to your last hygiene and food safety inspection report
The first thing to do to prepare for your hygiene and food safety Inspection is to refer to your last inspection report. Re-read the recommendations made by the food safety inspector and ensure that you’ve taken steps to meet these recommendations, especially those that are required by law.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your staff is aware of the previous recommendations and the actions that have been taken to rectify any issues. This will enable them to accurately answer any questions the inspector may ask them.
2. Clean and sanitize the food preparation area properly
While this might sound obvious, many businesses forget to properly sanitize their food preparation area before inspection. Make sure you clean and sanitize under, behind and inside all food preparation equipment and appliances, and also clean grease traps, floors, and storage areas.
3. Check your food storage area
Another common mistake that many hospitality businesses make is not storing food properly – this is especially common when the hygiene and food safety inspection is carried out during service.
One thing inspectors will look for is that food and ingredients are wrapped and stored correctly, both during service and in food storage areas. Alert your staff to keep on top of this at all times, especially when an inspector is around. Also, ensure that fridges and storage shelves are clean and not over-stocked.
4. Install temperature gauges
An easy way to nail your hygiene and food safety inspection is to install temperature gauges in your food preparation and storage areas. This makes it easy for inspectors to see that your food is stored at the correct temperature, mitigating any contamination risks.
5. Make sure you’re up-to-date with your pest control schedule
Having clear evidence of your last restaurant pest control service is important for nailing your health and hygiene inspection. Make sure there is no evidence of infestation, especially from common pests such as rats, mice, and cockroaches. If you’re not up-to-date, book in a pest control service before your inspection.
Also, make sure you check any other pest control measures that you have in place. Ensure that your waste containers are properly covered and that food preparation areas are protected by flyscreens on windows and doors.
By following these five tips, you’ll go a long way in ensuring your business passes its hygiene and food safety inspection with flying colours.