How to Pass your Restaurant's Hygiene Inspection
In 2010, the Food Standard Agency made it compulsory for restaurants to display their food rating system. Displaying the hygiene rating is a crucial factor to a business's success, as this sign can either entice customers or alternatively discourage them. Therefore it is important to have the best hygiene rating so that customers feel encouraged to visit a restaurant where they are assured that hygiene is prioritised. The food hygiene rating system is ranked from one to five, with five being the best. Whether you run an upmarket restaurant or a small cafe, it’s vital that you have an excellent hygiene rating so customers are confident that they are eating in a safe and clean environment. This blog is going to talk through several ways in which you can improve your restaurant’s hygiene rating to improve customer satisfaction and to receive that five-star rating!
How is the Food Hygiene Rating Assessed?
The food hygiene rating system assesses the handling of food, how it's stored, how it's prepared and the cleanliness. On inspection, the food safety officer inspects the company in three different sections. If you score high in these three sections, then there is a higher chance of you receiving a good hygiene rating.
Compliance with Food Hygiene and Safety - This area evaluates how well your food is handled, looking at areas like food preparation, cooking and reheating. Compliance with Structural Requirements - Whilst the first area looks at food preparation, this section assesses the structure of your building, cleanliness and layout. Confidence in Management - This area looks at your approach to food management and control procedures, and your ability to identify and control hazards.
A key factor in determining your hygiene rating is the actual food that you serve. The inspection process involves looking at how food is stored and prepared. This area could fall under the first section of the food hygiene rating assessment ‘Compliance with Food Hygiene and Safety’.
- Sustain a Safe Food Storage System - The storing of food is essential to any business. If you do not maintain a safe food storage system then contamination can occur. Therefore you must ensure that food is stored properly at all times. It is also imperative to keep the raw and cooked foods separate from each other, this is because raw food contains bacteria. Always check that your food is in date by checking over your stock on a regular basis. It is also important to ensure you have quality commercial fridges and freezers to maintain the right temperatures.
- Hygienic Food Preparation - Considering that you will be serving food to your customers, the hygiene of the food should take absolute priority. Again, when dealing with food there is the risk of contamination, therefore you should start to implement routines to minimise this risk. For instance, use separate equipment when processing and preparing raw and cooked foods. Without doing so, this can increase the chances of food poisoning and lead to a fail or low rating on your hygiene inspection report.
- Stay Vigilant When Cooking - You should always have an eye on the food you are cooking. Leaving food unattended not only allows for the possibility of undercooked or overcooked foods which can lead to food poisoning, but there is also the risk of flies or insects creeping into the food. If you do need to leave the kitchen, it is best to ask coworkers to watch over.
Staff Wearing Appropriate Clothing
Like almost any workplace, a uniform can be used to convey professionalism, improve customer service and increase brand awareness. In the hospitality domain, however, chef clothing is important for health, safety and hygiene. If all chefs are wearing the appropriate clothing, then this can go a long way in terms of boosting your hygiene rating.
What does a chef’s uniform include?
- Jacket - The chef’s jacket is important when it comes to safety, as it protects the chef from stove heat or splashes that might occur. The jacket usually comes in white too, meaning that stains are easy to identify. This will allow you to be vigilant when it comes to upholding hygiene standards as you can see if there are any marks.
- Trousers - The purpose of chef’s trousers is to prevent contaminants. The thick material also helps to reduce the danger of hot spills.
- Shoes - Chef’s shoes usually prioritise comfort and protection due to the long shifts they work.
- Hat/Hairnet - This particular piece of clothing is important when it comes to preventing any hairs from falling into the food.
A chef’s uniform contributes heavily to the overall hygiene standards of a restaurant. In view of the fact that they are responsible for the food that is going out to customers, they need to ensure the food was prepared and cooked in a hygienic manner. For instance, if a chef instead wore normal clothing, then there is always the risk of dirt or pet hairs contaminating the food. Therefore it is important to wear proper chef’s uniforms to eradicate the possibility of contamination. At London Linen, we completely understand what is required in chef’s clothing - something comfortable, hygienic and safe. That’s why we provide our customers with a range of chefs wear that can help you in your day to day job. With our range of chef's wear, we can help you to become a more hygienic restaurant.
The overall cleanliness of your restaurant can fall under the category ‘Compliance with Structural Requirements’. A tidy and clean environment is a necessity when it comes to a five-star rating. Therefore you should consistently stay on top of the cleanliness of both your kitchen and dining space. It might even be a good idea to draw up your own cleaning schedule or checklist, as this will help you to stay on top of things and remind you of what needs cleaning. For instance, you could suggest that daily tasks include replacing napkins and wiping tables, but other cleaning procedures such as wiping down windows could be completed on a weekly basis.
One way of conveying a cleaner look for your business is by having table linen incorporated into your restaurant. Not only can table linen be a useful way to decorate the table and protect any cutlery, but this could also look good on restaurant uniforms too. At London Linen, we can provide sophisticated table linen hire that improves the look of any restaurant. Available in a multitude of colours including magenta stripe, cream and grey - our range of tablecloth hires can improve the ambience and hygiene in any restaurant.
To ensure that food hygiene is prioritised by everyone working in the restaurant, it is important that all staff are trained. When conducting their report, if the inspector finds that the staff are neglecting hygiene, then this could have a detrimental impact on your rating. Therefore they should be informed on the importance of handling foods properly and avoiding contamination. Furthermore, they should also know the importance of wearing their chef clothing or restaurant uniforms to uphold hygienic standards. Doing so will encourage a better hygiene rating as the inspector can see that you are running an educated workforce.
The Best Linen Services with London Linen
At London Linen, we are proud to be the leading linen hire in London. Whether it be comfortable and practical chefs wear or table linen, London Linen has got you covered to help you improve your hygienic standards. We know exactly how important it is to have a good hygiene rating, that’s why we only produce the best linen for your restaurant. Boasting over eighty years of experience, we’re committed to giving our customers a smooth and high-quality service. If you are convinced that London Linen is the linen hire company for you, then get in touch with our team today!