It’s time to prioritize health and food safety so you can prevent health code violations in your restaurant.
It’s been reported that 70% of diners are deterred by health code violations when choosing a restaurant. And since the COVID-19 pandemic began, health inspectors and consumers alike have elevated their standards for food safety.
If you want to please the health inspector and your customers during every visit, it’s important to avoid these common restaurant health code violations:
Common Health Code Violations
Adhering to food safety and food handling regulations are an important part of maintaining your restaurant’s reputation, as well as the health and safety of your customers and employees. There’s a clear connection between prioritizing food safety and creating a trusted environment within your restaurant for your customers and employees alike. And, when keeping the current crisis in mind, restaurants are expected to uphold rigorous hygiene standards while remaining transparent with their customers.
Here are a handful of common health code violations to avoid:
Spoilage and Cross-Contamination
- Correct food storage is vital for your kitchen’s health and hygiene because it prevents spoilage and cross-contamination. Health inspectors will be checking for evidence of proper food handling, so make sure they can find expiration dates in your cold and dry storage areas.
Time and Temperature Control
- Failing to observe proper time and temperature control standards can lead to bacteria growth in your foods, increasing the risk for food poisoning. Health inspectors will test a number of foods within your kitchen to make sure your employees are following adequate food handling techniques.
Poor Overall Cleanliness
- Thorough kitchen sanitation ensures that your foods are being safely prepared on clean surfaces and equipment. Allowing grease to buildup on your equipment not only affects the taste of your food, but also presents a fire hazard for your restaurant. Practice good health and hygiene in your kitchen by keeping unseen surfaces in mind, including areas inside, beneath, and behind equipment that can collect food particles and attract pests.
How to Promote Food Safety and Create a Culture of Clean
Proper Food Storage
- Be mindful of how your refrigerated foods are stored. For example, raw chicken can never be stored on a shelf above other foods.
- Food boxes and containers should never be stored on the floor.
- Any foods outside of their original containers must be labeled with an expiration date.
- Always use food containers designed for commercial use.
Time and Temperature Control
- Frozen meats and fish must be thawed in the refrigerator, microwave, or in cold water.
- Any unattended foods taken out of cold storage must be prepped, cooked, or taken back to cold storage.
- Time- and temperature-sensitive foods must be labeled and monitored at all times.
- Ice machine bins must be cleaned regularly to prevent mold and slime.
- Soda fountain nozzles should be taken apart and cleaned daily to prevent bacteria growth.
- Food buildup beneath equipment should be swept and cleaned daily.
- Grease traps should be emptied frequently and employees should use degreaser on their equipment.
Solutions to Help Improve Your Restaurant Inspections
Restaurant inspections from your local health department can occur at any time, so it’s important that your restaurant is consistently practicing proper food safety, health, and hygiene habits. Constantly worrying about a surprise health inspection can be overwhelming, especially along with all the other daily stressors that come with operating a successful restaurant.
Fenix Verify offers a number of digital solutions to help restaurants avoid health code violations. By taking your restaurant’s existing inspections and building them into a digital environment, our software can deepen trust with your customers and employees, mitigate risk, and build ongoing habits that help your restaurant meet any food handling challenges.
Curated with Harvard Epidemiologists, our audit services provide a digital solution for all levels of business by monitoring ongoing compliance with health, sanitation, and hygiene protocols.
First- and Third-Party Audits
Our auditors complete on-site, unbiased, and non-disruptive visual inspections with time-stamped and geo-tagged photos. In addition, Cyclical Self Auditing, or First-Party Auditing, enables restaurant leaders to consistently ensure compliance between Third-Party audits.
Notify appropriate staff members of remediation steps based on levels of importance and easily monitor their completion with our Continuous Improvement Action Planning Module.
Digital Checklists for Your Restaurant
Gain important insight on food safety problems on a local, regional, and national level. Upon audit completion, you will receive a real-time digital risk report card that highlights any non-compliances while providing actionable remediation measures. Our digital checklists allow you to easily create solutions for food safety, health, and hygiene protocols in your restaurant.