How to Prepare for a Medical Inspection
Don’t let your next health check take you by surprise. Be prepared for the visit of a Health Inspector.
Canada’s Public Health Inspectors (PHIs), also known as Environmental Health Officers or Health Inspectors, are responsible for inspecting restaurants and other food service establishments.
To ensure that your health is maintained, ‘food safety inspections’ are performed.
- Respect for food safety regulations, bylaws municipal and federal
- In the facility, safe food handling practices are observed
- Safe for human consumption is food that has been prepared or sold in this facility
What are the responsibilities of Health Inspectors?
Any place or premises that have food handling activities or contain food products, equipment, or documentation can be inspected by a Public Health Inspector (PHI) at any time. Unannounced or scheduled inspections can be conducted on-site.
An Inspector must be granted access to all areas of the site under inspection. This is required by law. Anyone who works in the facility can’t knowingly or intentionally make misleading or false statements to an inspector while they are performing their duties.
The Inspector can:
- Investigate food ingredients, products and dishes
- Take out any food storage container or receptacle and inspect it.
- To further analyze products, ingredients, or dishes, you can take samples
- For food safety training records or documentation, please contact us
- Take a look at and make copies of any documents, records, Food Handler Certificates, or other records.
Ask questions to any worker on the premises
What are the main goals of Health Inspectors?
There are many things that Health Inspectors will be looking at, but these are the most important:
1) Highly-hazardous foods (also called high-risk food) must be kept at the correct temperatures (e.g. The Temperature Danger Zone is not applicable to cooked poultry.
2) Food is protected from contamination (e.g. 2) Food is stored in tight-fitting containers.
3) Food contact surfaces can easily be cleaned and sanitized (e.g. equipment is in good order, suitable for its intended purpose, and made of material that is easy to clean and sanitize.
All employees are expected to practice good personal hygiene. Food Handlers wear clean and appropriate clothing to work, and they wash their hands whenever they have been contaminated.
5) Efficiency cleaning and sanitation are being used (e.g. Kitchen equipment, utensils, and dishware must be cleaned after each use.
6) Presence of a Certified Foodhandler (e.g. There is at most one Food Handler (or supervisor) on-site who has successfully completed a national food handling course.
How to prepare yourself for a health check
Your inspection will be much easier if your staff is trained in food safety and has established safe food handling practices. You can prepare for any inspection by being ready at all times. Be sure to follow the following steps to remain inspection-ready:
- Understanding the law and how it applies to you business (knowing your legal obligations).
- Make sure all food handling employees have the right food safety skills.
- Your Food Handlers and Managers should have a food safety certificate.
- Food safety hazards can be avoided by monitoring food storage, preparation, and cooking processes.
- Random self-inspection to find out where you are falling short.
- Check the results of inspections recently to make sure that no violations were found.
Canada’s food safety regulations make it mandatory for all employees to have completed a formal course on food handling. The percentage required varies according to the business location. Find out about the requirements for food safety training in your region or province by visiting our Laws and Requirements webpage and selecting your location.
What to do during a Health Inspection
Staff should be trained in how to notify the manager when an inspector arrives at the company. The manager may inquire if the inspection is routine or if it was caused by a complaint from a customer.
Managers can call their local health authorities to verify credentials of Inspectors.
Although you may not and should not refuse an inspection, you are welcome to accompany the Inspector on their tour of the facility. You can ask them questions and clarify any doubts about the inspection results.