Restaurant Health Inspection

Restaurant Health Inspection


it’s no secret that Austinites love to eat out and
we have over four thousand restaurants to prove it. Add to that all the festivals
where food is sold and the mobile food vendors that offer everything from cupcakes to sushi and that’s
a lot of food establishments. So who makes sure that those preparing and selling
the food are doing so safely. it’s the job of the Austin/Travis County Health and
Human Services Department. Within the department that we have the environmental
consumer health unit. Among their responsibilities are restaurant inspection. These include restaurants,
grocery stores, bars, mobile vendors, food manufacturers, food warehouses, coffee bars, bakeries, convenience
stores, some day care facilities, and schools. I’m going to turn it over to Restaurant Sanitarian Mark
Parsons to explain how the inspections are done, what sanitarians look for
and what a restaurant score means. We’re here today to kind of demonstrate what we do when we go to a
restaurant to do an unscheduled routine health inspection. So we start today in this part of the kitchen where they’ve got the cook line, they’ve got
the make line over here. They have the cook line where
the hot food is prepared. Over here is, we call this the sandwich prep
unit where they keep the ready-to-eat food and they
hand it out the window So one of the first things we look at on a unit like this
is the temperature of the food The food has to be kept at forty-one degrees or below
to keep the temperature of the food from growing bacteria we get our thermometers out. Thermometers are
calibrated once a day, sanitized between uses. They have the food covered that’s put out
for the day so this is good We look at these food temperatures. They need to
keep the food at forty one degrees or less to keep bacteria from growing during the time
when they’re holding it for longer periods of time like this. This temperature is good. It’s at forty-one degrees.
So this shows they have maintained the temperatures so that’s good on that unit. Next we look below the unit so see how they’re
holding the food down here below the unit. The food is covered and protected. We look to see that there is a discard date
on containers like this. It tells when it was
made. They have a shelf life of seven days for potentially hazardous food. This shows that they’ve (been) adequately dating the
food when it was made and put in there So these foods are all properly covered and dated,
discard-dated. After taking the cold side we turn our attention to that the cooking side of it. We notice
that the stoves over here are off. They’ve got a pan of bacon here on the stove but the bacon is crispy cooked so it’s no longer
considered potentially hazardous so the temperature is fine for the bacon Moving down the line. The grill is clean clean, hot Nothing in here. These are oils. They don’t have
to be kept cold, hot. The cook line is good, the vent hood is good. No built-up dirt in the corners but then after we leave this unit here, we
go to do other things in the kitchen. Like we check the walk-in cooler to see what the
temperatures of the foods (are) in the walk-in. Do they cool the food properly, do they
keep it covered, do they keep it segregated? Raw foods are not above the ready to eat. We look at things like the dishwasher. Is it properly sanitized? Then we interview the staff to see what are their procedures on handwashing. That’s a big one these days. You don’t have to wear gloves at a restaurant
to make food but you have to have special handwashing procedures. Hands need to be washed for twenty seconds with soap
and water, vigorously rubbed dried off double hand-washed and they can use a hand sanitizer
to touch ready-to-eat food or they can use gloves, nail brushes They have to document in writing their procedure
for hand-washing They have to show is that all the employees
have been trained and know how to properly
wash their hands If you, we get to see behind the restaurant doors If you notice anything in a restaurant, you can ask
the management these kind of questions. What is your hand-washing procedure? Or you can call 972-5600 and talk to a sanitarian
if you notice a restaurant. We try to inspect a restaurant every six months so we’re not in there every day trying to follow
them around. We do those things. We see that they’re educated. That they have a food manager. Then we spend a lot of time interviewing on all
these procedures to see – do they have control of them? We’ll go over it with the management. To see what they’re doing. We spend a lot of time
doing that during an inspection of restaurants in Austin. Mark Parsons adds that if no violations are found
the food establishment receives the score of one hundred. If more than thirty points are lost
a re-inspection is required and corrections must be made to bring the score above seventy
in accordance with the Texas Food Establishment rules. If subsequent inspections score below seventy,
compliance actions will be taken. Through education, training and regulation,
the Consumer Health Unit carries out a community-wide program in Austin and Travis County to promote
health, safety and prevent disease. This is a partnership with the people who make
the day-to-day decisions that actually determine food safety – the operators and employees
of food service establishments. And with a robust process and partnership in place, the
more we can enjoy all the wonderful food this community has to offer. To find a restaurant
score, visit our web site at www.cityofaustin.org/health. Restaurant Health Inspection.

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