|PHOTO: Frederick Md Publicity|
Earlier in the month, a pizzeria in Atlanta failed inspections twice before finally passing with an A.
And a pizzeria in Bensalamen, Pennsylvania, chose to temporarily shut its doors after 10 violations from the health department.
These stories are not new, but unfortunately, they do make the news. If your customers hear that you've received anything below an "A" rating from the health department, or worst of all, have been shut down, it could take a long time to earn their trust again.
So how can you ensure that you receive an "A" every time?
Each state inspects different things when they drop in unannounced, but if you keep your restaurant clean, and follow cleaning procedures on a daily and weekly basis, you shouldn't have a problem. Most states even offer online courses and self-tests so that you're always ready for a visit.
In the meantime, here are nine general tips.
- All employees, including wait staff, should know how to handle and prepare food safely.
- Develop and maintain a regular cleaning schedule.
- Ensure proper hygiene practices.
- Watch for potential food safety violations and correct them immediately.
- Keep all food at proper temperatures (cold food cold, hot food hot). Use temperatures and track how long food is being left out.
- Clean and sanitize all food prep surfaces and equipment after it's been used.
- Maintain grease traps and plumbing.
- Hire a pest control company licensed to work with restaurants.
- Seal all cracks and openings that could allow bugs and/or rodents to enter your establishment.
No one wants the negative press associated with the health department closing their pizzeria. Don't let it be you.