A recent three-part investigation held by Global News discovered that many restaurants in Nova Scotia go up to six years without being inspected by a public health official - including those deemed as being high-risk for foodborne illnesses. The food safety inspection gap in Nova Scotia comes as a surprise to many Canadians, as the benefits of food service establishments undergoing regular health inspections are innumerable for both customers and businesses themselves.
Health inspections shouldn’t be scary
An impending visit from the health inspector shouldn’t be something you dread as a restaurant owner or food service professional - in fact, there are plenty of reasons why you should have the opposite reaction. You and the health inspector share a common goal of ensuring that customers are being provided the safest products to keep them healthy and happy, and that your restaurant is doing everything in its power to prevent foodborne illnesses from reaching your products and the public. The health inspector should be seen as a major asset to your business as they can make suggestions for future improvements and identify areas that your business excels in.
Consistency in safety practices is good for business
One of the best things a restaurant or food service establishment can be is consistent - when customers know exactly what they’re going to get every visit, they’re far more likely to return again and again. This same principle can be applied to food safety practices - when safety practices are consistent and there are no risks of letting things slide out of laziness or complacency, your business and its customers will benefit.
Your policies and practices should be held to a high standard, and following them at all times should be mandatory - health inspections are a great way to continue enforcing this. Treat every work day like it’s the day before a major health inspection, and your establishment will have no problem maintaining a consistently safe and healthy workplace. Food Safety Market has extensively covered Canadian food safety programs and Canadian restaurant regulations in a wide variety of provinces and major cities, which can help you better understand what is expected of your business.
A learning experience for staff
Health inspections can also be highly beneficial for how your establishment is run and the way your staff is performing. The health inspector will point out recommended changes to your businesses policies and procedures, and identify any areas of improvement for your team. This can help your team better develop their food handling and preparation skills while at the same time following strict health and safety guidelines that will benefit all parties. A bad health inspection can be a valuable lesson for all team members, and can reinforce the importance of consistently keeping up with food safety guidelines and being proactive in keeping a clean kitchen and serving only the highest quality products.
Health inspections good for internal morale
A successful visit from the health inspector can do wonders for your restaurant and the team working within it. Knowing that your place of work has aced a health inspection can be revelatory, as it rewards the behaviour followed by employees in regards to best practices and following procedures. Your team will know that they work well as a unit, and that they are part of something special that delivers consistently high quality food products to customers.
The more regular the passing of health inspections become, the more morale your staff will build and the more effort they will put into their work in order to continue passing the already high standards set by your establishment - know for a fact you’re doing a great job is one of the best incentives to continue doing well and to improve upon your already good performance.
The benefits of having regular health inspections in your food service establishment cannot be understated - whether it’s ensuring that your business is upholding the proper standards and practices, ensuring consistency throughout your restaurant, serving as a learning experience, or boosting the morale of staff, there are plenty of reasons to ensure that your local public health inspector is stopping by regularly and that you’re no longer dreading their future visits.