If there are health violations that have been found during an inspection, the business is typically given a certain number of days to correct the issues. If the corrections are not made in the allotted time, then the business can face penalties and even closure. In some cases, the business may be able to continue operating if it makes specific changes, but in serious cases, the business can be shut down immediately. In these cases, a food inspector may visit the business again as part of a re-inspection to ensure that corrections have been made and that health violations no longer exist.
Inspections are conducted by county or city inspectors with the purpose of ensuring public safety through cleanliness and proper food handling. The health inspector will review the business’ procedures, as well as inspect the physical facility and food products. They will also observe how the employees are handling and preparing the food. If any violations are found, the inspector will issue a citation to the business.
There are a number of different types of violations that can be cited, and each one has a different level of severity. Some of the most common violations include:
- Food not being stored at the correct temperature
- Improper food handling, such as cross-contamination
- Unclean facilities or equipment
- Insects or rodents present in the facility
- Improper sanitizing practices
When a business is cited for a health violation, it is important to take corrective action immediately. In many cases, the business can correct the issue on its own, but in more serious cases, it may need to enlist the help of a professional. The health inspector will work with the business to help them correct any violations and ensure that they are in compliance with the law.
If you are a business owner and have been cited for a health violation, it is important to take corrective action immediately. Failure to do so could result in penalties and even closure. Contact your local health inspector for assistance in correcting the issue.
The purpose of health inspections is to ensure that food products are prepared and handled according to law, which is essential in preventing food-borne illnesses. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), foodborne illnesses cause 48 million hospital visits, 128,000 long-term hospitalizations, and 3,000 deaths each year. These findings explain why 70% of diners refuse to visit restaurants that violate the health code. The purpose of this article is to explain how to set up an effective food safety system to prevent health violations.
What is a health inspection?
As per the FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), Food establishments must be inspected at least once every six months. Restaurants, however, are inspected by local governments.
On most health inspectors’ scorecards, they assign letters and numbers. Restaurants with violations receive lower scores. Inspectors evaluate elements of sanitation like food quality, storage conditions, and cleanliness.
Furthermore, inspectors look for evidence of regular sanitation practices by restaurant staff. Paper records are commonly presented that show staff performing tasks such as mopping the floor or checking cold storage temperatures on a daily or hourly basis.
What should be done immediately following violations from a health inspection?
A violation occurs if a restaurant fails to follow sanitary protocols. Penalties vary according to the severity of the violation. There are severe health hazards and minor infractions.
Non-critical violations are usually not punished financially by restaurants. A permanent record is kept by the inspectors, which can be reviewed within 45 days.
- Lack of cleanliness in the facility
- Mislabeling of food items
- Poorly maintained equipment and utensils
Serious health hazards
Fines are usually the penalty for serious health hazards. Under severe conditions, restaurants may be forced to close temporarily.closed. It is possible for restaurants to be sued or permanently closed if they cannot ensure compliance with food safety guidelines following a follow-up inspection.
Some examples are:
- Using cold water instead of hot
- and failing to monitor and cool food properly
- may indicate vermin infestation
- An absence of a certified food manager during operating hours
How to prevent health violations
Despite being catastrophic, health code violations are also preventable. Here are two ways to avoid the most serious ones.
A method of preventing cross-contamination
Cross-contamination can be prevented by implementing a safer storage strategy. When storing items, follow these steps from top to bottom:
- Raw materials
- Cooked products
- Cooked meats
- Seafood cooked
- fresh seafood
Every night, you should check your food storage to eliminate any chance of cross-contamination.
By monitoring temperature, violations can be prevented
It is the responsibility of every restaurant owner to ensure that their refrigerated goods are stored safely and that cold storage hasn’t crossed over into the danger zone of food safety. There is a danger zone for food safety between 40° F and 140° F. Food that is left in this range for a long period of time is at greater risk of being unsafe to consume. This violation can be prevented by using a temperature monitoring system. Inspection and maintenance personnel can rely on data that is accurate, properly recorded, and easily analyzed.
Using accurate temperature data can also help identify trends that indicate equipment failure. The accumulation of frost on stored items or a slow warming trend can cause a breakdown.
There may be a period of time when breakdowns go unnoticed. When inventory slips into the danger zone, a violation may result if the problem is not noticed.
The timing of a health inspection may not be within your control. Following these steps, however, will help you prepare for it. By replacing paper logs with digital records and remote temperature monitors, this effort can be further aided.