Health Inspections 101: What They Look For!

The follow information was taken from a document released by New York State, outline what health inspectors look for:

  • Critical Items – These are literally “red” flag items denoted in red on inspection sheets. Examples include improper hand-washing, cooked foods not immediately chilled, commercial dishwashers not using the correct sanitizer concentration, and cross-contamination between cooked and uncooked products.
  • Non-Critical Items – While not as severe as a red mark, non-critical issues – such as improperly labeled food storage containers, out-of-date operator permits, malfunctioning meat thermometers – are a serious problem.
  • Potentially Hazardous Foods – Meat, poultry, seafood and ready-made foods require special handling – inspectors will ask for records to prove you’re doing it right.
  • Manager and Staff Knowledge – Restaurant owners must know their local health codes and the inspector will ask questions to test your knowledge!
  • Employee Health – sick employee is a serious threat to your restaurant – not to mention your inspection. Send a sick employee home immediately because person-to-person contact is the leading cause of foodborne illness and inspectors have the authority to check a worker’s medical records!


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