You would be shocked at the number of local restaurants that fail state and local health inspection. Inspection failures are not limited to small, hole-in-the-wall institutions. Avoid failing state and local health inspections by staying organized with health inspection software.

Instead, both 5-star and popular chain restaurants frequently fail inspection. For example, in the Manatee and Sarasota area, restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen and Beef ‘O’ Brady’s both failed inspection.

Read on for the ultimate food health and safety checklist for your restaurant. Learn more about public health and safety guidelines. Explore tips for topics such as food storage and pest control to help your restaurant succeed.

Proper Dress and Good Hygiene

The first step is to make sure that all food handlers are properly dressed and practice good hygiene. Handlers are everyone in the restaurant that interacts with food, including chefs and servers.

Your restaurant’s dress code should require employees to wear close-toed shoes. Food preparers need to wear gloves at all times. Also, employees with long hair need to wear hair restraints to prevent it from going in the food.

Moving on to hygiene, it is imperative that all employees wash their hands after using the bathroom. Smoking and eating are prohibited in areas where food handling takes place. Additionally, employees should cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and disposing of any used tissues.

Food Storage

The next step to maintain favorable health conditions is to properly store all food. This means that all foods are properly labeled and protected from contaminants.

It also means that the temperature remains between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Chemicals must be stored separately from food and any food-related supplies. The first in, first out method needs to be utilized as it pertains to managing food inventory.


Cleaning is a critical part of operating a successful restaurant business. Generally, people do not want to eat at an institution that is demonstrably dirty.

It is required to clean all counters and surfaces where food preparation or handling takes place. Utensils need to be sanitized using heat or chemicals. They also need to be air dried or use sanitized wiping cloths.

Clean water is required for all washing and rinsing actions. There are even regulations on the equipment utilized. A three-compartment sink is necessary that allows for a wash, rinse, and sanitize cycle.

A clean restaurant environment is free from pests. Brantley Pest Control notes that screens are recommended on all restaurant doors and windows to prevent pest intrusion.

Food Handling

Food handling is one of the most important steps. Health department inspections ensure that food is not cross-contaminated and thawed under proper conditions. This means that microwave defrosting is not authorized.

Also, food should not be handled or stored in poor temperature conditions. Trash bags, containers, and boxes need to be removed from the restaurant expeditiously. Depending on the US state your restaurant is based in, you need to consider the state’s laws and regulations. For example, California law requires all employees to undergo food handler training courses, in order to learn how to safely work with food. For restaurant owners, they require to maintain records of food handler training for all employees and produce them upon request.

A Recap of the Food Health and Safety Checklist

Maintaining a nice restaurant is hard work but pays off in the long run. Customers want to dine in a restaurant they can trust, one that maintains a clean kitchen and properly stores food.

If you enjoyed this article about a food health and safety checklist, check out our business/finance section for other great content.

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