NMRA says the proper strategy for a successful health inspection is to be ready at all times. To stay ahead of the game, managers can conduct weekly, in-house inspections. Here are nine tips to help your team prepare:
- Use the same form – or a similar form that the NM health department uses, and put yourself in the health inspector’s place.
- Walk into your establishment from the outside to get an outsider’s impression.
- Brief your kitchen staff to review any problems post-inspection. This will help convey the importance of food safety to staff members.
- Ensure all staff are on the same page. If your staff includes employees for whom English is a second language, have the findings translated so everyone understands how important food safety is to the success of your restaurant. Consider hiring a professional translator. A bilingual staff member might use terms or phrases that might not make sense or could be misinterpreted in other dialects.
- Know your priorities. Your self-inspection priorities for kitchen employees should include: food time and temperatures, personal hygiene (including hand washing) and cross contamination. Temperature guidelines include checking the temperature of products when they arrive, when they are stored and when they are served. NMRA offers ServSafe Food Handler and Manager courses.
- Reinforce the importance of hand washing. Post signs at all kitchen sinks and in employee restrooms.
- Train your managers to ensure they are up-to-date on the latest food-safety techniques. NMRA offers all the necessary ServSafe training to your restaurant employees. Click here to see the classes we offer.
- Review your NM health code for any special, local requirements.
- Get involved politically to give a restaurateur’s perspective. One opportunity could be to join your state’s health-code-revision committee. Involve senior staff on such committees as well. Contact NMRA CEO Carol Wight for more information.