health inspection

5 Things Health Inspectors Look For

Be prepared the next time a health inspector walks through your door. Here’s a list of 5 things most health inspectors are looking for:

1. 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.

2. 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While not as severe as a red mark, non-critical issues – such as improperly labeled food storage containers, out-of-date operator permits, malfunctioning meat thermometers – are a serious problem.

3. 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.

4. Manager and Staff Knowledge

Restaurant owners must know their local health codes and the inspector will ask questions to test your knowledge!

5. Employee Health

Sick employees are  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!


-This information was published in a document released by New York State, outlining what health inspectors look for.