Pre-Operational Checklist Before Opening a New Restaurant.
Pre operational checklist for inspectors before opening a new restaurant
Opening a new restaurant is an exciting but challenging endeavor that requires careful planning and preparation. One of the most important steps in the process is to ensure that the restaurant meets all the health and safety standards and regulations set by the local authorities. This is where the pre operational inspection comes in.
A pre operational inspection is a thorough examination of the restaurant premises, equipment, facilities, food handling practices, and documentation before the restaurant is allowed to operate. The inspection is conducted by a qualified inspector from the health department or a third-party agency. The purpose of the inspection is to verify that the restaurant complies with the applicable codes and laws, and to identify and correct any potential hazards that could pose a risk to the public health.
The pre operational inspection is usually scheduled after the construction or renovation of the restaurant is completed, and before the opening date. The inspector will contact the restaurant owner or manager to arrange a convenient time for the inspection. The inspection may take several hours or even days, depending on the size and complexity of the restaurant.
The inspector will use a pre operational checklist to guide the inspection and document the findings. The checklist may vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of restaurant, but it typically covers the following areas:
- General requirements: This includes checking the business license, permits, insurance, zoning approval, occupancy certificate, fire safety certificate, waste disposal contract, pest control contract, employee health policy, employee training records, and other relevant documents.
- Building and facilities: This includes checking the structural integrity, ventilation, lighting, plumbing, electrical wiring, water supply, sewage disposal, garbage storage, grease trap, fire extinguishers, emergency exits, signage, and accessibility of the building and facilities.
- Equipment and utensils: This includes checking the installation, operation, maintenance, calibration, cleaning, sanitizing, and storage of all equipment and utensils used for food preparation, cooking, holding, serving, cooling, reheating, and displaying food.
- Food safety: This includes checking the food sources, labels, invoices, receipts, temperature logs, thermometers, date marking systems, food storage practices, food handling practices, cross-contamination prevention measures,
personal hygiene practices, hand washing facilities, gloves, hair restraints, aprons, and other aspects related to food safety.
- Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP): This includes checking the HACCP plan, the critical control points (CCPs), the critical limits, the monitoring procedures, the corrective actions, the verification procedures, and the record keeping system for each food process in the restaurant.
- Menu and recipes: This includes checking the menu, the recipes, the allergen information, the nutritional information, and the portion sizes for each menu item.
The inspector will mark each item on the checklist as compliant (C), non-compliant (NC), or not applicable (NA). The inspector will also provide comments and recommendations for improvement or correction. The inspector will review the checklist with the restaurant owner or manager at the end of the inspection and provide a copy of it. The inspector will also issue a pre operational inspection report that summarizes the findings and indicates whether the restaurant has passed or failed the inspection.
If the restaurant has passed the inspection, it means that it has met all the minimum requirements and can proceed to open for business. However, the restaurant owner or manager should still monitor and maintain compliance with all the standards and regulations on an ongoing basis.
If the restaurant has failed the inspection, it means that it has one or more critical violations or a high number of non-critical violations that need to be corrected before opening. The inspector will specify a deadline for re-inspection
and may charge a fee for it. The restaurant owner or manager should take immediate action to fix the problems and request a re-inspection as soon as possible.
A pre operational inspection is a vital step in ensuring that a new restaurant is safe and ready to serve customers. By following the pre operational checklist
and working closely with the inspector, the restaurant owner or manager can avoid delays and fines and ensure a smooth and successful opening.