Preparing for a Medical Inspection
While health inspections can be stressful and frustrating, it is important to remember that they don’t seek to shut down your business. To ensure the safety of the public, health inspections are carried out to inspect food preparation and handling. To help you feel ready for your next inspection, here is a checklist that we created for restaurants.
How to Prepare for a Medical Inspection
Get familiar with the rules and regulations of the foodservice industry to ensure that your restaurant is ready for inspection. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for the next inspection.
1) Check your HACCP Plan. HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Plan) is one way to prepare for a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points). HACCP identifies areas in the cooking process that are most at risk. After identifying the hazards, you can take actions to prevent contamination.
2) Get familiar with common health code violations. Keep an eye out for safety issues and common restaurant code violations, such as cross-contamination and internal temperature requirements.
3. Check with your local health department to see what regulations and forms for health inspection are in use. They will want to know what you’re looking for.
4) Conduct self inspections at random timesunannounced. Health inspections may occur at any moment, so it is important that all employees are equally prepared. Discuss the results with employees after your self-inspection and the corrective steps for violations.
5 Quiz your employees. Ask safety questions to employees about the tasks they perform in order for them to be ready for any inspections by the health inspector. Ask employees to tell you what colors they should use for food storage in order to prevent cross-contamination.
6) Keep up-to-date. Monitor food preparation and storage even after your own inspection. Keep your managers informed of the most recent developments in food safety, so that they can enforce compliance even when you aren’t there.
What to do during a Health Inspection
You should be aware of what you can and cannot do during an official inspection of your health.
Verify the credentials. You should receive this information from the inspector voluntarily. However, if they aren’t, you can ask. For verification, contact your local health department if you aren’t sure. This will prevent being conned by anyone looking for business information.
To see if there are any violations at the restaurant, follow the inspector. Noting that some violations can be corrected on-site is crucial. These violations will be recorded on the spot and made available to customers.
- Sign this inspection report. However, it does not signify that you agree with its findings. It is evidence that you were given a copy.
- Ask for clarification if you are unsure of a violation.
- Don’t refuse to inspect. If the inspector returns soon, he or she will likely have an inspection warrant.
- You can offer any food or beverage to the inspector. You should be friendly and cordial to the inspector. Anything beyond that could be misinterpreted into bribery to influence their inspection report.
What to do following a Health Inspection
After the restaurant inspection is complete, you will receive a score. Your score should not be surprising if you were there with the inspector during the inspection. Learn about restaurant scoring systems to help you understand your score. Once you know your score you can start to correct any violations.
Understanding Health Inspection Scores
There are two main systems of restaurant grading: letter grade systems or points-based systems. The system used will depend on which state or local health department is inspecting the restaurant. The department that inspects the restaurant will determine if it is a critical or non-critical facility, and if there are high-risk areas and low-risk ones.
Letter Grade Systems
The letter grade system is usually A, B, and C. This indicates compliance with food regulation. Inspectors add points according to severity and number of health code violations in restaurants. Then, they convert that number into letter grades. The letter grade system was created to make the scores more understandable for consumers.
“(A), Good” One high-risk violation may be found in a few low-risk violations.
“(B). Adequate” Multiple high- and low-risk violations
“(C). Needs Improvement / Poor” Many high- and low-risk violations
Correcting Health Code Violations
Bad results from a health inspection can have a negative impact on your business. This is because customers are now more able to spot and understand any violations. If you have multiple violations that are low- or high-risk, there are steps you can take.
- If you receive a poor rating on your health inspection, you can arrange a reinspection within 5 to 45 days. This will allow you time to fix the violations.
- You can find out what caused each violation and how to prevent it happening again.
- Like your self-inspection, discuss with your staff any violations and the appropriate corrective action.
- You can appeal against a violation if there is a reason to disagree. To speak with the inspector’s supervisor, call your local health department.