Preparing for a Health Inspection

How to prepare for a health inspection

Make sure your restaurant is prepared for an inspection. Brush up on the regulations and knowledge of the food service industry. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for the next examination.

  1. Review the HACCP plan. A HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points Plan) is one tool that can be used to prepare for an inspection. The system determines where in the cooking process the highest risk of contamination exists. After identifying the hazards, you can take steps to avoid contamination.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the most common violations of health codes. Be on the lookout for safety concerns and restaurant health code violations.
  3. Contact your local health department. Learn the regulations and inspection forms used by your local health department so you’ll know what to look for.
  4. Randomly conduct self-inspections. All employees should be prepared for any health inspections that may occur. Review the results of your self-inspections with your employees and discuss any possible violations.
  5. Test your employees. Assist them in preparing for the inspection by asking questions on safety. Ask them, for example, what color containers they should use to store seafood, poultry, and vegetables.
  6. Keep up-to-date. Continue monitoring food preparation and storage even after you’ve done your inspection. Stay up to date with the latest developments in food safety so your managers can maintain compliance even when you are not there.

Health Inspection Checklist

Check out these things to watch for when you’re conducting your restaurant inspection. Click the button below to see the printable restaurant inspection checklist.

Download the Health Inspection Checklist in PDFFood Storage

  • Keep food at least six inches off the floor.
  • Separate chemical and food products
  • The food is kept in a dry, clean place that is protected from contamination.
  • The FIFO method (First in, First out) is used to store food.

Freezer and refrigerator maintenance

  • The thermometer is easy to read and shows the correct temperature.
  • In walk-in fridges, food is stored 6″ above the floor.
  • The refrigerators and freezers should be clean.
  • All food products are properly labeled and dated.

Food Preparation

  • Cross-contamination of food is prevented.
  • The food should be thawed in the refrigerator or by running water.
  • When handling food, staff uses gloves, clean hands or utensils.
  • Before food is placed in the hot holding section, it is heated to the right temperature to kill all bacteria.


  • The washing station is divided into three sections: rinsing and sanitizing.
  • Equipment clean at sight and touch.
  • When storing, the utensils will be covered to prevent them from being contaminated by dust or other contaminants.
  • The water is heated to a temperature that is suitable for sanitizing.

Refuse and Garbage Collection

  • Garbage is disposed of properly. Outside receptacles are covered or have covers.
  • When full, the bins for recycling and garbage are emptied.
  • The area surrounding the dumpster should be clean and pest-free.
  • Regular cleaning of the garbage bins is necessary to keep them free from pests.

Employee Hygiene

  • Employees wear hairnets and cover their facial hair.
  • Smoking and eating are restricted to specific areas, away from the food preparation areas.
  • Hand washing is a regular practice for employees.
  • Employees should wear clean clothing and closed-toed, proper shoes.


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