When inspectors shutter a restaurant or food concession, the most common reaction from the owners is, “I didn’t even know we were going to be inspected for that” or, “I had no idea we were in violation.”
Unfortunately, ignorance is not a defense if government inspections find something wrong. And if your business is shut down for even minor violations, the damage to your reputation can be long-lasting and hard to overcome.
Here are four critical topics your training needs to address.
Rules for Complying with Local Health Laws and Codes
When inspectors come, for example, what will they be looking for? Will your restaurant have to supply documentation that required measures have been taken to prevent infestations by insects and rodents? Are cooking oils and other supplies stored where they cannot be contaminated by heat or dampness? What checklists will be used to evaluate the cleanliness of stoves, cookers, sinks and other equipment? And what cleaning chemicals are you allowed to use in areas where food is prepared?
Are your chefs, food handlers or other employees required to pass any exams and earn certification before they can work in the food service industries in your city or town? If so, your training should include information on how to prepare.
Fire Prevention Protocols
Remember that all cities and towns require fire inspections – and that failure to meet requirements regarding smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and well-marked fire exits – could get your restaurant closed on the spot, often for extended periods of time. Another problem to consider? If your food concession is part of a bigger business like a store, a hotel or a health club, a shut-down can impact on the entire business.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has laws in place to protect workers’ safety and health and to assure that they are working appropriate hours in safe conditions. Your training for managers should therefore include information about what OHSA requires, how its demands can be met, when OHSA inspections can be expected, and what steps can be taken if violations are found when OHSA arrives.
Economical, Effective Food Service Training Can Keep You Up and Running