If you want a food service license, your restaurant or diner must pass a health inspection. Health inspections can be a stressful experience for food-serving business establishments.
The reason is that business owners and managers have the perspective that the health inspector is coming to find a reason to shut down their premises. The right attitude would be to see someone visiting your premises to ensure you uphold food preparation and service standards.
The following are tips to help you pass a health inspection and get your food service license:
Conduct Self Inspections
A health inspection is a test, and the best way to pass a test is to do a practice test. It gives you an idea of what to expect for the actual test.
Therefore, you should conduct self-inspections of your restaurant before health inspectors visit you. The best way to conduct self-inspections is randomly and when employees least expect it, just as a health inspection would happen.
Your staff should know the standards you expect so you can conduct random self-inspections that ensure the restaurant is always up to code.
Therefore, even when the health inspector is due for a visit, all you have to do is some polishing up. Conduct repairs or have the property manager do it if it is a rental property.
Learn The Health Code
A health inspection is like a test to which you already have the answers. The answers are the health code you should learn if you want to pass the health inspection. When managing a restaurant, it is almost impossible to remember all the health codes all the time.
Therefore, you should relearn the code before the inspection and refresh your memory. It would be best if you also learned the FDA's food processing laws. Adhering to these codes is the key to getting a food service license. You need to learn much to receive a license to serve food.
The easiest way to pass a health inspection and get a food service license is to review common health code violations and avoid them. Going above and beyond the code is, however, recommended.
Get Permits and Certifications
A significant part of passing a health inspection is ensuring you have all the necessary permits and certifications.
Some states require that every employee in a food service establishment has a food handler's permit. If so, you should evaluate every employee and ensure their permit is up to date. The permits are one of the first things the health inspectors will check.
There may also be a requirement for certain employees in states like Florida to have a food manager's certification, for example, the chef and other supervisors. Your staff should continually update the permits and certifications to avoid rushing near the inspection, which is why self-inspections are beneficial.
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Prepare Your Employees
Other than ensuring your employees have the requisite permits, licenses, and certifications, it would be best if you also ensured that they are ready for the health inspection. Begin by quizzing them about the health code and checking to see if they uphold various codes. You should have them perform the tasks as if they were doing so for the health inspector.
Regular training in best safety and health practices is the best way to ascertain they are up to code with which self-inspections can help you. However, health inspections may involve different processes, so it is best to mimic them to reduce your employees' pressure on the day.
They can hence correct their mistakes in preparation for the big day.
Review Past Inspections
To pass a test, it is an excellent idea to know what led to failure or success in previous pasts. Therefore, you should review past infections and determine which positive elements you want to uphold and which negative ones to discard.
Health inspectors will provide a report on whether you pass or fail a health inspection with reasons for either. Evaluate them to increase your chances of passing the health inspection, especially if it is the same health inspector doing the review.
Passing a health inspection is quite challenging but possible. Tips that will help you pass an inspection are to prepare your employees, conduct self-inspections, learn the health code, get permits & certifications and review past inspections. The key to passing a health inspection is preparation on which you should focus.