How do restaurant health inspections work?

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Restaurant health inspections are not announced. The inspector must first introduce herself and show an ID. The inspector’s manager is there to answer any questions and provide immediate feedback.

The “dynamic” areas where food is being prepared and handled actively are the first places inspectors visit. The inspector will visit these areas first to ensure they have a clear picture of the kitchen’s compliance with food safety regulations. The inspector will begin with 100 points, then subtract points for different infractions.

Proper hygiene is a key element in the kitchen. Kitchen workers must follow the rules for hand washing (rinse, use soap, scrub for 15 to twenty seconds, dry with a towel, then dry off with a towel), gloves and hair protection. No one should work while they are sick or have open wounds or cuts (yuck).

Also, food and temperature storage are top priorities. The inspector uses her digital thermometer to check whether raw meats or fish are cooked at the correct temperature. 160 F (71 C), for ground beef, and 145 F (62 C) for fish. The inspector also checks temperature in cold food storage areas to ensure they are at 40 F (4C) or lower for refrigerators, and zero F (minus18 C) for freezers. The inspector then questions the cooks and managers about their reheating and thawing practices. The inspector asks the manager and cooks about their thawing and reheating practices.

Cross-contamination is another major problem. Inspections will inspect food preparation to ensure that any contact with raw meat (knives and cutting boards) is properly separated from prepared foods. They also make sure that all surfaces that come in direct contact with the meat are cleaned and disinfected. Commercial Inspection in Georgetown will inspect the kitchen to ensure that all pre- and processed ingredients are from licensed commercial kitchens and properly stored.

It’s now time to inspect the fixed areas in the restaurant. These are the things that don’t change very much over the day. This includes dishwashing equipment, dish storage areas, handwashing basins in the kitchen, as well as the bathroom facilities for employees and customers. They also inspect the labelling and storage of toxic cleaning products, the HVAC systems, smoke detectors, and the cleanliness of walls, ceilings, and floors. They then return to the dumpster and trash areas.

Routine inspections of casual restaurants take between one and a half to two hours. Large hotel kitchens can take up to four hours. An inspector will likely report any minor issues she finds during a walk-through, such as a broken can or ketchup bottle. Anything more serious will be included in the report.

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