If you own a food outlet, then getting visits from the health inspector are one of the least enjoyable parts of the job. Health inspector violations can lead to business closure or penalties and fines. To help avoid this, we have compiled together a list of tips on how to prepare your commercial kitchen freezer for a health inspection. This list is based on common problems with commercial kitchen freezers that health inspectors look out for. While the list is not exhaustive, it is a good starting point to make sure that your freezer is in good condition. Here is what to look out for:
One of the first things that an inspector will look out for is mold. Naturally, a freezer should not contain any mold as this can be extremely dangerous and unsanitary for customers. In order to avoid this, regularly check your freezer for mold, as well as discarding any items before they expire and begin decomposing. Make sure that your refrigerator is also set to the correct temperature as this would be beneficial in preventing mold growth.
Improperly Packaged Food
Food that has been chopped or prepared should be kept in sealed containers in your refrigerator and kept at the correct temperatures. Make sure that food is properly packaged to avoid failing your inspection.
Spills are inevitable in large commercial freezers, particularly walk-in ones. It is important however that you clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid the growth of mold or bacteria as inspectors will be looking out for this. This is also a health and safety issue as spills can lead to someone slipping and injuring themselves, so they should always be wiped up promptly.
One key factor that an inspector will look at is the temperature of your refrigerator. Any fridges, freezers or walk-in coolers will have to be kept at the correct temperatures to store the food safely, so make sure that your thermostat is set accordingly.
Thermostats are vital in keeping an eye on the temperatures of your commercial freezers and fridges. Therefore, the inspector will also check to see if the thermostat is measuring the temperature correctly. If the thermostat is not accurate, you risk putting customers in danger with food that may be off. If you are unsure how to check if your thermostat is accurate, a freezer repair company will be able to help you with this by scheduling a maintenance appointment.
An Excessive Forming of Ice
If your refrigerator has an excessive build-up of ice, this is usually due to a faulty door seal, or door hinges that are loose or not properly attached, which leads to outside air entering your refrigeration. An inspector will likely take note of this in determining if your refrigeration meets satisfactory standards.
Wear and Tear
Does your refrigerator have general wear and tear? Not having suitably attached seals on doors will result in irregular temperatures and possibly a higher consumption of energy to power your refrigeration. Gaskets, hinges and pipes also should also be checked to ensure everything is in working order. Wear and tear will naturally happen with regularly used refrigeration, and it is therefore important to periodically check and repair any damage that will be sustained over time before an inspector identifies it.
While lights have little to no effect on refrigeration, an inspector may examine the lighting in undertaking a food inspection. Ensure that any dim or broken lights are repaired or replaced so that all items in your refrigeration are fully visible and accessible.
If your commercial freezer is emitting strange noises, it may likely be a sign of malfunction or wear and tear that requires fixing. This is something an inspector may be on the lookout for and identify. Be aware if your commercial refrigeration sounds irregular and ensure to have it checked out for any underlying problems.
If an inspector is to examine your commercial freezer and assess whether it meets requisite standards, these are the key things they will look out for and the things you too should check to ensure your commercial freezer is in proper working order.