Your Overdue Health Inspection is Likely Coming Soon

For the last several years, the number of food service establishments (restaurants, food trucks, commercial kitchens, etc) has risen in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Department of Public Health has struggled to keep up with routine inspections. By the same token, restaurants are finding it difficult to find and keep staff as they are competing for a limited pool of applicants. Once someone is hired and trained, they often take a new position in another restaurant, and with each new hire, businesses have to start the hiring/training process from scratch.

In the last two months, the Department of Public Health has hired 10 new inspectors who are now beginning to work through the backlog of inspections. Many restaurants haven’t seen a routine inspection in over a year and are feeling the effects now as the new inspectors make their rounds. As hard as it is in today’s challenging staffing climate, it’s imperative to constantly reinforce proper food handling procedures with staff. Here is a short list of best practices to consider:

  1. Ensure you have more than one person certified as a Food Safety Manager: This is the certification that is valid for 5 years. Individuals who carry this certification are required to train staff in day to day food handling procedures. They are also considered the Person in Charge when the health inspectors visit your restaurant. GGRA offers these classes monthly Food Manager Certification classes/exam and we provide the CA Food Handler card training/exam on our website for just $10.
  2. Employee Health/Hygiene: Staff must follow proper handwashing procedures and sick food handlers should not be handling food.
  3. Prevention of Cross Contamination: Avoid bare hand contact with ready to eat foods where possible; separate knives and cutting boards for produce and meats; follow proper food storage practices.
  4. Time and Temperature Relationships: proper cooling temperatures; proper holding temperatures; proper cooking temperatures and reheating temperatures.
  5. Hot Water: You must have sufficient hot running water for handwashing and washing/sanitizing utensils.
  6. Proper Pest Control: Maintain proper procedures/effective pest management.

Reinforcing the procedures health inspectors will be looking for when they visit your restaurant must be a daily practice. The GGRA has Food Safety classes every month which is a good place to begin. We partner with the SF Department of Public Health to coordinate with active inspectors who teach our monthly classes. Partnering with your health inspector is a great way to develop and maintain the principals of food safety in your business. Please contact Donnalyn if you have any questions.

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