Fearful opponent hygiene control

The food hygiene inspection is coming up and there is an uneasy feeling. Who will be inspected? What will be inspected? What are the possible consequences? These and more questions are addressed in this guide.

Verschiedene GN-Behälter in einer Gastronomieküche

This is what you should know about the visit of the health department.

Many restaurateurs dread food hygiene inspections, even if they are actually very meticulous about staff hygiene and kitchen cleaning. The visit of the inspector nevertheless creates an uneasy feeling: Is everything really in order? Do all employees follow the rules for kitchen cleaning? Are all hygiene training and self-checks properly documented? To take away your fear of a visit from the health department, we provide you with all you need to know about food hygiene inspections in our guide.

Who is inspected?

In principle, all establishments that work with food or objects of daily use must expect hygiene inspections. These inspection visits are unannounced, and on average about half of all food service establishments are scrutinized each year. Those who process perishable foods such as raw meat, eggs and dairy products are generally considered to be at higher risk and are inspected more frequently. However, complaints from guests or employees can also be the reason for an inspection. If there have already been conspicuous cases in the past, the health department is happy to visit more frequently and at shorter intervals. Every year, violations of hygiene regulations are found in just under a quarter of all businesses inspected.

What is inspected?

The inspector checks whether the prescribed measures for maintaining food safety are being observed in your company. Is there a HACCP concept? How well does this work? Are all specified limit values adhered to? Is the kitchen cleaned regularly according to the appropriate specifications and are employees properly trained? Are there gaps in the documentation of your hygiene measures? In addition, the inspector takes random samples and has them examined in the laboratory. Depending on how high the food inspection assesses the risk in your business, the number of random samples taken will be as follows.

Our tip

The most frequent errors are found by food inspection in general basic hygiene, hygiene management and food labeling. Be especially careful here!

Ein Blick in die Gemüsekühlung einer Gastronomie
Sauberes Verstauen von Tomaten in Behälter mit Mindesthaltbarkeitshinweis
Aufkleber für das Mindesthaltbarkeitsdatum von Tiefkühlprodukten

Food monitoring pays particular attention to these points:

  • Where does the food you process come from?
  • What is the condition of your storage facilities? Are the regulations being observed? Can pests get in?
  • Are clean and unclean operations separated? Is waste disposed of properly?
  • Is the cold chain being maintained?
  • Are all cleaning measures documented?
  • Do hygiene training sessions take place regularly?
  • Do the employees work according to the hygiene regulations?
  • Are there any abnormalities in the stored food?

What happens if deficiencies are found during the hygiene inspection?

If violations are found in your company during the food hygiene inspection, this is not the end of the world. Unless it is a serious violation, it usually remains with a briefing and a follow-up inspection. However, if the deficiency is more serious or irregularities occur more frequently, fines or criminal proceedings may be imposed. In the worst case, the company will be closed down.

Our tip

Take tips from guests or employees seriously! This way you will quickly discover potential weak points and can eliminate them before they are objected to by the food inspection authorities.