Running your own restaurant is quite the adventure. From early morning deliveries to serving customers late into the night, you’re always on the go. One big part of smooth operating is ensuring you pass inspections and receive an “A” rating. Doing so requires preparation and even a little practice. Sometimes, it even requires commercial pest control services. Read on for tips on making the grade with your restaurant.
Preparation and Practice
One way to ensure your restaurant passes inspection is to practice. You should have a copy of the local food code regulations that you must follow. Use it to look through your own establishment as if you were the health inspector. You may want to do a surprise inspection on your employees to help them prepare as well. You can also prepare by setting up a maintenance schedule, employing food handlers who are ServSafe-certified and periodically having re-training days for employees. Remember to keep accurate and organized records as well.
While proper food storage is a key component to preventing pests in your restaurant, even the cleanest establishments might come across insects or rodents from time to time. Companies that provide commercial pest control services can inspect your restaurant and provide treatment for cockroaches, termites, ants, rats, mice and a variety of other pests. You may notice signs of little visitors, such as droppings or food items that look chewed on, but even if you don’t see signs, you should have a professional inspect your property at regular intervals.
Proper Food Storage
Proper food storage and preparation is essential for passing an inspection. Store all food according to safe temperature specifications and at least six inches away from the ground. Never store uncooked food above ingredients that are ready to eat and ensure everything is properly wrapped. Remember to check your refrigerators and freezers regularly to ensure they do not rise above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to preparation, never cross-contaminate. Use separate cookware, utensils and surfaces for every raw or allergen-inducting food, and always wash them in hot water with approved soap before re-using them. It may help to use an HACCP program that color-coordinates prep tools so that you don’t accidentally cross-contaminate. Remember, food handlers should have clean nails, hands and forearms and should have their hair tied back and in a net. Anyone who is ill should not handle food.
If you find yourself in need of commercial pest control services for your restaurant, including wildlife removal, always hire a professional. Doing it yourself may save money now but missing something could mean lost income while you close shop to fix the problem after a poor inspection.