Restaurant Inspections

April 5, 2011
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What to Know and How to Prepare...

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Getting a restaurant up and running is no easy task. Add to that the pressure of having a food service health inspector come to your facility unannounced to make sure that health codes are being adhered to. After all, it only takes one bad exam to risk your restaurant’s credibility and reputation, so the best approach is to always practice good food safety and to be ready all the time.  This visitation is an important part of making sure restaurants are abiding by strict health codes and ultimately delivering the safest possible dining experience to their customers. However, as times change, so do the rules and regulations that coincide with Restaurant Inspections, so it’s a good idea to review them regularly and to read up on your local health code specifications.  At Mission we care about you and the overall well being of your business, and we are here to provide important tips and useful products that will keep your kitchen clean, sanitary, and ready for its next Inspection.

HAND SANITATION

It is no secret that germs spread like wildfire and one of the easiest ways to transmit them to your customer’s food is by your own hands {pretty gross, we know…} That’s why we have a selection of soap dispensers, hand dryers, and other sanitary necessities that will keep your kitchen/workplace clean and your customers from being sick. Make sure that your employees are constantly washing hands, including in between glove changes, and particularly after handling raw meat, and that they are doing so in a hand sink- not a prep sink. Inspectors also look at how clean work surfaces are and what actions are taken to avoid harmful cross-contamination. Keeping worktops clean and coordinating different surfaces for raw and ready to eat foods are just a few examples. Our color-coordinated San Jamar cutting boards make prepping different foods a safe process that reduces the chance of cross-contamination.

 STORAGE TEMPERATURE

One of the most important things to remember when running a kitchen is to keep food stored at the proper, safe temperature, generally at 41 degrees or below. If food is exposed to “The Danger Zone,” that is between 40 and 140 degrees, it is subject to bacteria infestation. Monitoring the food temperature regularly {every shift, etc.} helps ensure adequate food safety. Furthermore,  refrigerators should not be overloaded with product as this restricts the proper amount of airflow that is necessary to keep your food at the right temperatures and out of the Danger Zone. All of these practices help ensure that food is safe from harmful bacteria, risk free, and ready to serve to the customer. If food has been exposed to offset temperatures in your cooler, make sure to throw them out immediately. Many health inspectors look at cooler thermometers to ensure they are placed in an easily read area when the doors are opened. It’s generally a good idea to randomly sample the internal temperature of stored food by using our probe thermometers.  We have a big selection of commercial refrigeration equipment along with a variety of thermometers that will ensure that stored food is properly cooled and safe from harm’s way.

FOOD SEPARATION

One of the first things health inspectors look at is how food is organized from the moment of delivery, then stored, and finally prepared in the back of the house. Making sure that raw foods are separated from ready to eat foods and kept refrigerated will help you keep a passing health inspection score. With the use of barriers such as food storage containers and refrigeration shelving, food can be properly organized and kept free from harmful cross-contamination in the cooler. If you have limited space and can’t store separately, make sure that cooked or ready to eat food is stored a shelf above raw meat, poultry, and fish, so as to prevent drippage and cross contamination of the raw meat to other food products. Labeling food with the package’s contents, date of delivery, and use-by date is another thing that inspectors like to see as it shows that the establishment is monitoring the amount of stored food along with when items should be rotated.

Remembering cleanliness and  good food safety and sanitation practices in your kitchen will without a doubt help to ensure a great report, year after year.

Want to read more?

One Response to Restaurant Inspections

  1. April 6, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Large fan of this page, loads of your blogposts have definitely helped me out. Looking forward to updates!

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