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  • Shawn Anderson

10 Tips for Maintaining Healthy Restaurant & Passing Inspections

Health inspections may cause anxiety. Even though food service sector inspections are routine and expected, many establishments lack preparation, and there's nothing worse than appearing unprepared when the health inspector shows up. However, things don't have to be this way! You may confidently face your next Restaurant Health Inspection by taking a more proactive approach to food safety and putting a strong preparation strategy in place.

The Conference Board of America's 2023 agenda was centered on rethinking vendor and employer strategies for health and benefits. The purpose of the event was to offer distinct viewpoints and practical guidance in a range of health-related fields. Engaging speakers from a range of companies discussed their personal experiences, highlighting the significance of employee healthcare experiences and the vital role that employee wellbeing plays in well-run healthcare initiatives.

The conference covered important subjects like access, affordability, and innovation in healthcare systems, emphasizing the necessity for businesses to give top priority to design components that are valued by staff members.

Session topics also included women's health, cancer care, musculoskeletal pain prevention, mental health assistance, and the development of virtual care services. Creating a compelling employee experience, gauging the success of wellness initiatives, and optimizing benefit investments were all on display during the event.

All things considered, the 2023 Conference Board of America gave business executives a forum to talk about and investigate cutting-edge methods for improving worker health and well-being in companies. Self-inspections should ideally be conducted without prior notice and handled similarly to actual inspections. This makes it easier to stop problematic behavior in its tracks and steer clear of complacency. View our sample checklist to see what to look out for:

Temperature Control

Proper temperature control is essential for preventing bacterial growth and ensuring food safety. This includes monitoring and maintaining the correct temperatures for food storage, refrigeration, and cooking. Ensure that refrigerators are set below 40°F (4°C) and freezers are at 0°F (-18°C) or lower. Regularly monitor and record temperatures of refrigerators, freezers, and warming units.

Implement a routine check system to promptly address any discrepancies. Training staff on the importance of temperature control and how to use thermometers effectively will further ensure that food is kept within safe temperature ranges. This vigilance helps maintain food quality and safety, contributing to positive inspection results.

Temperature Control

Food Storage

Food storage is critical in preventing contamination and spoilage. Implement a First In, First Out (FIFO) system to ensure that older items are used before newer ones. Keep dry storage areas clean, dry, and well-organized, with food items stored at least six inches off the floor. Store food in sealed containers, label them with the date they were stored, and keep them off the floor to prevent moisture accumulation.

Regularly check expiration dates and discard expired or spoiled food. Regularly inspect storage areas for signs of spoilage or pests. Implementing these practices will help preserve food quality and safety, crucial for passing health inspections.

Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene is a vital in preventing the spread of illness. Ensure that all staff members wash their hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom, before starting work, and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Provide hand sanitizer and encourage its use. Enforce proper attire, including hair restraints, gloves, and clean uniforms. Implement strict policies requiring staff to wear clean uniforms, hairnets, or caps, and to refrain from wearing jewelry that can harbor bacteria.

Personal Hygiene

Food Contact

Proper handling of food contact surfaces is crucial to prevent cross-contamination. Clean and sanitize cutting boards, knives, and utensils between uses, especially after handling raw foods. Use color-coded equipment to distinguish between raw and ready-to-eat food preparation.

Implement a schedule for regularly sanitizing surfaces, such as countertops and tables. Ensure that dishwashing machines and sinks are functioning correctly and that staff follows proper sanitization procedures. These practices will help maintain a hygienic environment, essential for both food safety and passing health inspections.

Non-Food Contact Surfaces/Equipment

Maintaining cleanliness of non-food contact surfaces is equally important for overall sanitation. Regularly clean and disinfect floors, walls, ceilings, and ventilation systems to prevent accumulation of dirt and grime. Ensure that all equipment, such as refrigerators, ovens, and grills, are kept in good working condition and are cleaned regularly.

Implement a deep-cleaning schedule to address hard-to-reach areas. Proper maintenance and cleanliness of non-food contact surfaces help create a hygienic environment, reduce the risk of contamination, and ensure compliance with health regulations.

Public/Staff Bathrooms

Clean and well-maintained bathrooms are essential for both customer satisfaction and Health Compliance. Ensure that bathrooms are stocked with necessary supplies like soap, toilet paper, and paper towels. Implement a regular cleaning schedule to keep them sanitary and pleasant. Install hands-free fixtures to reduce the spread of germs.

Regularly inspect restrooms for any plumbing issues or repairs needed. Clean and sanitary bathrooms reflect a commitment to hygiene and contribute to a positive dining experience, which is beneficial for passing health inspections.

Waste Storage and Removal

Effective waste management is vital to maintaining a clean and safe restaurant environment. Use covered, leak-proof containers for waste storage, and empty them regularly to prevent overflow and odors. Implement a strict schedule for trash removal to avoid attracting pests.

Train staff on proper waste disposal procedures and the importance of separating recyclables. Keep dumpster areas clean and well-maintained. Proper Waste Management Practices help prevent contamination, control pests, and demonstrate a commitment to cleanliness, all of which are crucial for health inspections.

Waste Storage

Pest Control

Implement a pest control program to prevent infestations. Regularly inspect the restaurant for signs of pests, seal any entry points, and eliminate standing water and food sources that may attract pests. Hire a pest control service for regular visits.

A robust pest control program is essential for maintaining a safe and hygienic restaurant. Regularly inspect premises for signs of pests, such as droppings or gnaw marks.

Seal any cracks or holes that could serve as entry points. Store food in airtight containers and keep areas clean and free of crumbs and spills. Work with a professional pest control service to conduct routine inspections and treatments. Promptly address any pest issues to prevent infestations. Effective pest control measures protect food safety and help ensure successful health inspections.

Pest Control

Staff Knowledge On and Off the Floor

Staff education is crucial for maintaining food safety standards. Regularly train employees on food safety protocols, proper hygiene, and emergency procedures. Ensure that they understand the importance of temperature control, cross-contamination prevention, and cleaning practices.

Encourage staff to ask questions and provide feedback to continuously improve safety procedures. Off the floor, ensure that management stays informed about the latest food safety regulations and inspection criteria. A well-trained, knowledgeable staff is better equipped to maintain high standards and pass health inspections.


Maintaining detailed records is essential for demonstrating compliance with health regulations. Keep logs of temperature checks, cleaning schedules, pest control measures, and employee training sessions. Document any incidents of foodborne illness or safety breaches and the corrective actions taken.

Ensure that all records are up-to-date and easily accessible for inspectors. Accurate and thorough record-keeping shows a commitment to food safety and helps identify areas for improvement. This practice is crucial for passing health inspections and maintaining a healthy restaurant environment.

By following these comprehensive guidelines, you can create a culture of cleanliness, safety, and compliance that will help your restaurant thrive and pass inspections with flying colors. Remember to always consult with our Capital Steam Hood Cleaners specialists to resolve all types of commercial and residential kitchen-related issues, ensuring the happiest kitchen environment.


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