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Health Inspection Checklist. 12 Important Areas to be Monitored

06.23.22 | Digital Checklists

Imagine a Health Inspector all of a sudden walking inside your restaurant.

A Health Inspection is about to happen, but your restaurant is covered in dust, and the kitchen condition is nowhere near ‘well-maintained.’

Sounds like a perfect nightmare for managers and workers. Doesn’t it?

A Health Inspection Checklist will make sure that you will never have to face this day!

What is Health Inspection?

Health inspections are periodic evaluations conducted by the local health department for the purpose of ensuring shops, markets, restaurants, or factories meet the basic safety requirements set in place by local and national laws. They assess food products, staff, and equipment for any potential hazards.

Health inspections are performed 1-3 times a year. It is mostly done without notice.

What is a Health Inspection Checklist?

Health Inspection Checklist is a tool or a form used to evaluate the safety of a food facility setup. Health inspectors use this tool to grade inspections by the number and severity of the violations.

Who is a Health Inspector?

A Health Inspector is a public health professional who visits restaurants and other food service establishments to examine the standard health and sanitation. He checks whether the managers and workers are adhering to standards of food safety.

How to prepare for a Health Inspection?

To make sure to do well in the inspection, you have to be prepared in all ways.

  • Firstly, be familiar with the common safety issues and health code violations.
  • Daily maintenance needs to be done to keep the restaurant inspection ready.
  • Staff members should be trained to take sanitation and food safety seriously.
  • Follow the HACCP plan to identify risks associated with contamination.

Health Inspection Checklist

Not confident about a surprise Health inspection that can occur any day?

This article with 12 important points will help you to ace your restaurant health inspection. To have a smooth health inspection round without any chance of violating health codes, follow the points given in the checklist below.

1. Store food in a proper way

Store food and food supplies at least 6-8 inches above the floor. Label all the foods with their name and delivery date. Do not keep expired or leaking canned foods in storage. Surfaces and floors should be cleaned regularly.

2. Food safety.

Food is not adulterated or spoiled. Food is protected from dust, dirt, and other contaminations. Food stored in containers is tightly sealed. All food containers are non-toxic and have proper lids. See The 4 Basic Food Safety Principles You Must Know for more tips on food safety.

3. Food handling

Food should not be in the temperature zone for more than four hours. Prevent bare hand contact and handle food by wearing clean gloves. Handle utensils in a way to avoid direct contact with food.

4. Maintain storage temperatures.

The thermometer is visible and accurate. The refrigeration temperature is within a safe range. Food is kept out of the temperature danger zone. The FIFO method of inventory is practiced.

5. Sanitation.

Equipment and utensils are cleaned after every use. Water is heated to the correct temperature for sanitizing. Tested chemicals and cleaning supplies are used to clean surfaces frequently. They are stored in a separate area from food storage.

6. Enforce employee hygiene.

Employees are properly dressed. Hair restraints and gloves are worn. Hands are washed thoroughly using Proper hand washing: Step-by-step guide. Masks and disposable tissues are used when the employee is coughing, sneezing, or infected.

7. Proper ventilation.

Install proper ventilation to avoid odors and irritants present in the air. Clean the ventilation system once in a while to remove the dust, grease, and kitchen particles that get stuck in it over time.

8. Garbage disposal.

Garbage and recycling bins are emptied before they’re full. Waste must be frequently removed from the food handling area. Keep garbage bins in a way to discourage the growth of mold and pests.

9. Strict Pest Control.

Air curtains are installed on doors and windows to avoid pest infestations. Doors are self-closing and tightly shut. Work with a licensed Pest Control Operator and use approved pesticides.

No evidence of pests should be found.

10. Food contamination

Watch out for sources of contamination. Do not keep cooked and uncooked food together. Do not mix up cooking equipment. Clean the food prep surfaces adequately. Check the plumbing in refrigerated equipment for leaks.

11. Toilets and sinks.

The toilets and sinks are fully operable. A separate sink and toilet are provided for employees. Clean toilet facilities and supplies are provided. The ventilation filter is clean and well-maintained.

12. Staff training.

Unannounced health inspections are held monthly. Employees are educated about proper procedures and sanitation. They are trained in food handling. They are prepared for any questions they may get from a health inspector.

Health Inspection Checklist

What to do during a Health Inspection?

  • Ask the inspector if the inspection is routine or caused by customer complaints.
  • Accompany the inspector throughout the inspection.

What not to do during a Health Inspection?

  • Do not refuse an inspection.
  • Do not offer food or beverages to the Inspector.

How does the grading system work?

Points are added up and presented in a letter scale comprised of three ranges: A, B, and C. Each state may use its numerical ranges. In general, the grades for all health agencies mean what is given in the table below :

A0-13Clean and Safe
B14-27Needs Improvement
C28+Poor/At Public risk

Why is Health Inspection important?

Health inspection allows you to maintain cleaning and safety practices that wouldn’t be done if inspections weren’t performed routinely. They help you identify potential hazards and risks and eliminate them.

They also help you understand the importance of food safety and cleanliness.


Health Inspection Checklist is a helpful way to prepare for health inspections. They serve as reminders to prioritize safe food practices. It protects public health by preventing hazards and food-borne illnesses. It is also a smart way to save bills that otherwise would have been spent on safety issues.

The health inspection Checklist is an effective tool to keep restaurants safe and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good health department inspection score?

A good score issued by Health Department varies from state to state, and each state has a particular score range that decides the grade of your restaurant. If your food establishment is in NYC, 0 to 13 is the highest score that gives you an A grade letter.

What is the lowest health inspection score a restaurant can be given before shutting down?

The state Health Department also determines the lowest score slab. In NYC, 28 and more, the lowest score ascribes a C grade to the restaurant.

What health inspection score closes a restaurant?

A restaurant is given two or more chances at an interval of 3 to 6 months after its first inspection to improve its score. If it fails consecutive times to improve its score, it may be ordered finally to close its business.

How to pass a health inspection audit for a restaurant?

A restaurant must follow the guidelines prescribed by state authorities. Strict adherence to the rules helps the restaurant pass the health inspection audit, and it helps the restaurant to achieve a good score.

Are restaurants required to post health inspection scores?

Yes, restaurants must post the inspection result on a display board viewable to the customers. It helps customers to decide whether they are willing to access the service or not.

Do all restaurants have health inspection scores?

Yes, all restaurants in the USA must have health inspection scores. When you start a restaurant in the USA, it automatically comes under an inspection process; failing to do so, the restaurant has no existence.

Will Jocson

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