1. Build a relationship with your health officer, talk to them and invite them to the premises. They will respect you for being the one to ask them which shows that you want to improve!
2. Walk through the establishment starting from the outside, put yourself in the health inspectors place. Check with the local environmental health officer what regulations and forms will be used on the day and apply these when scanning through the premises.
3. Look at all elements of the kitchen space such as ceilings, floors, doors and windows - are they clean and fit for purpose of producing safe food? Do you have separate wash facilities and food preparation areas?
4. Signage! Make sure that all relevant areas have adequate signage in place. We have learned from experience that you can’t have enough signs. It’s important to clearly indicate which wash station is for hand wash, pot wash, or food wash, what colour chopping boards must be used for each food type or areas that are for raw meat only etc within the food preparation unit.
5. Ensure that there is hot, potable water at all times. If there is none at the time of inspection it will cause trouble.
6.Keep an up to date food safety management system, including a HACCP plan and forms such as fridge, freezer and food temperature monitoring sheets. Make sure you know where your critical control points are within your process and the critical limit at each critical point
7. Staff - gather all staff training records as the EHO officer will want to know if your staff have the appropriate training in order to keep the food in your premises safe. One of the most important things is your staffs personal hygiene, poor personal hygiene among staff is one of the biggest causes of food poisoning so the cleanliness of their clothes, hand washing methods and jewellery wearing should be constantly monitored.