Food inspections are carried out on a regular basis by home food businesses. If you prepare or handle food at home, you can expect a food inspection at least once during the first year of your business. Depending on the report of this first inspection, future inspections will be conducted as required. This practice ensures that the food you provide is safe for consumption.
About Food Inspections
Your premises can be subject to a food inspection without any prior notice within business hours. During an inspection, the premises as well as the food is inspected to ensure that there are no hazards to the premises and that all legal requirements are complied with. If the inspector feels that you need to alter certain practices, he will inform you of the matter. He will also give you feedback on the inspection and advise you on how to avoid hazards.
Food inspectors have the power to seize any food they find unsafe for consumption and they can also issue a notice that prohibits you from either continuing to manage the food business or using certain equipments or practices.
How to Comply with the Regulations
If you plan to run a home business, you should make sure that you and your employees have completed a course on food handling. This course can also help you acquire a food handling permit upon payment of a fee. This permit is useful as it allows you to prepare food for commercial purposes and also lets you have wholesale accounts at various food stores. The permit should be displayed in the kitchen.
You also have to register your house as a food business and obtain planning permission before you start your business so that you don't face the risk of prosecution. Insurance coverage is mandatory to protect you against any suits filed by dissatisfied customers.
Dos and Don'ts
It's important that the kitchen is separate from the other living areas of the house and is thoroughly clean as are all the appliances, work surfaces and tools. Other requirements include adequate ventilation, water supply, lighting and storage space. Children and pets should not be allowed in the working area and ill people should not be permitted to prepare food until they recover. This will prevent the infection from passing onto customers.
The ingredients and prepared food meant for commercial use should be stored separately from those meant for domestic use. Likewise, commercial laundry should be washed separately from the domestic laundry. Different colored chopping boards should be used for cutting different foods.
If you follow all the above practices and run a clean kitchen, you don't have to worry about food inspections. Good management and hygienic conditions will earn you a high rating and this rating can increase business prospects in the future.