How Often Are Restaurants Inspected in the USA

By Rajib Hasan -- Monday, 11 Sep, 2023
how often are restaurants inspected

Inspection means looking at something carefully and trying to find out any issues. But when is the inspection held? In most cases, an inspection is done whenever the business owner applies to get something (license, loan, etc.) or sometimes the investigator team comes from the health ministry to investigate for food poisoning or unhealthy food issues. However, inspection is directly involved with the restaurant business. It is because human health is potentially related to that. So, those who are restaurant owners should know how often are restaurants inspected in the USA.  

How Often Are Restaurants Inspected in the USA?

How often are restaurants inspected by the health department? Restaurants are inspected by the health department 3 times a year. If we talk about New York City, then the New York City restaurant inspection is scheduled for an unannounced inspection at least once a year. 

It’s because health risks are associated with restaurant food. The food safety regulations found any unhealthy issues they aware the restaurant owner or restaurant manager to use of healthy food ingredients.

If the health inspection department found this issue again then they penalized the restaurant owner for serving unhealthy food. However, who is responsible for protecting public health safety? The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for that in the USA. FDA also keeps focus on some crucial things such as human and veterinary drugs, medical services, biological products, health and safety, etc.     

Is Food Safety Necessary?

Is Food Safety Necessary

Yes, of course, food safety is necessary for human health. It helps to protect the customer from the risk of foodborne and illness. Food safety management system also helps to prevent people from health-related risk conditions. Foodborne illnesses can cause a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and fever. In severe cases, foodborne illnesses can lead to hospitalization or even death. For this reason, food safety is most necessary.  

How Often a Local Health Inspector Enters Your Restaurant To Inspect You?

A restaurant health inspection is a restaurant examination (restaurant employee, restaurant chef, food products, etc.).  However, the local health inspector inspects restaurants every six months. But if the food inspector gets any complaints then they come to visit the restaurant and find the issue.

This inspection can also be applicable for the storage of ingredients, processing, and packaging. It is noted that a health inspector will provide meticulous attention to your store to find expired or unhygienic storage. So, be conscious and use those ingredients to pass the inspection validity.

How Can I Keep My Restaurant Spotless In The UAE?

Food safety refers to the conditions and practices that preserve the food quality to restrain foodborne illness and contamination. If you would like to start a restaurant business in the UAE then you have to follow their health safety rules and regulations. In this case, H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan approved food safety rules in 2016. But who is H. H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan?

He is an honorable second president of the UAE (United Arab Emirates). This law imposes the regulations and standards for maintaining food quality and safety. This law says if any severe issues are found then the restaurant owner must be penalized. Indeed many things are included in these rules.     

However, we have given some crucial tips on how to keep your restaurant spotless in the UAE. So, it can be better if you have a better idea about it.

  • Inspect kitchen areas, dining areas, and restrooms regularly. 
  • Ask your restaurant staff to maintain personal hygiene. 
  • Implement strict cleanliness measures for kitchen equipment. 
  • Ensure proper ventilation. 
  • Keep the storage area clean. 
  • Improve the hygiene standards of packaging. 
  • Make a restaurant hygiene checklist. 

What Time Do Health Inspectors Come?

The health inspection for restaurant frequencies varies depending on the local health department. In most cases, if high risk is visible then a health inspector comes to the restaurant for inspection and figures out the reason. In the United States of America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that high-risk establishments be inspected every 06 months. 

However, the local health Department may have different requirements. Suppose, the Los Angeles Public Health Department in the United States inspect every 03 months if they have information about high health risk from any restaurants. 

How Often Are Restaurants Inspected In Florida?

Restaurants in Florida are inspected at different frequencies, depending on the risk level of the establishment. The restaurants are inspected 3 to 4 times in Florida. But moderate risk facilities are inspected 2 times each year. However, let’s see which factors are inspected quarterly.

High-Risk Facilities Are Inspected Quarterly

  • If you serve raw or undercooked animal products.
  • If you have a high volume of customers.
  • If you have a prior history of foodborne illness violations.

Moderate-Risk Facilities Are Inspected Semiannually

  • Do not cook raw animal products.
  • If you have a lower volume of customers.
  • Do not have a history of foodborne illness violations.
  • Low-risk facilities are inspected once per year.

The restaurants may also be inspected in response to a complaint. If a restaurant receives a complaint. It will be inspected within 10 days. However, to justify the authenticity and find more information about restaurant inspections you may check the Florida Department of Health.

How Often Are Restaurant Health Inspections?

How often are restaurant health inspections? It depends on each country's health ministry rules. Suppose, in the USA, restaurants are inspected 1 to 3 times a year depending on the public health risk. In the UK, the frequency of inspection ranges from 06 months for the highest-risk businesses to 05 years for low-risk businesses.

So, on average, the restaurant health inspection is conducted every 6 months a year. On the other hand, there are some countries that have different policies for inspecting restaurants.

What Happens If A Restaurant Fails A Health Inspection?

The health inspection team comes to any restaurant when they notice the restaurant is not following proper sanitary protocol. If they found any violation then what punishment can they impose on the restaurant owner? Punishment depends on the problem of severity and local health department rules. 

The restaurant failing a health inspection consequences depending on the severity of the violations and the local health code. However, let’s figure out some crucial steps of what happens after health violations from an inspection.

No action is taken

If the investigation team found minor violations, such as food debris on the floor or an unclean mop bucket. The restaurant will be given a warning and told to correct the violation. In that case, no action will be taken against the restaurant.

The restaurant is given a downgrade

It means that the restaurant will receive a lower score on restaurant health inspection reports. It could make it less appealing to customers. In this connection, the restaurant will also be given a deadline to correct the health guidance violations.

The restaurant is temporarily closed

This is the most serious consequence, and it is usually only done for serious violations, such as operating without hot water or having a rodent infestation. The restaurant will be allowed to reopen once the violations have been corrected.

In the consequences imposed by the health department, a restaurant that fails a health inspection may also face negative publicity and lose business. Customers may be hesitant to eat at a restaurant that has been cited for health violations. So, it is important for restaurants to take food safety seriously.

But how to get rid of such unexpected conditions for food serving? We have given here some of the basic things that you should follow. Let’s see a few things to prevent your restaurant from failing a health inspection.

  • Train your employees in food safety procedures. It should include training on proper food handling, cleaning and sanitizing procedures, and personal hygiene.
  • Keep your restaurant clean and sanitary. It includes regularly cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces, equipment, and utensils.
  • Monitor food temperatures. Make sure that food is stored and cooked at the proper temperatures to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Eliminate pests. Take steps to prevent pests from entering your restaurant, such as sealing cracks and holes and using pest control measures

How Often Are Food Hygiene Inspections?

How Often Are Food Hygiene Inspections

According to statistics, the inspection system is done 2 times a year (six months later). Food hygiene deals with the biological aspect. Basically, inspection is done to be conscious of the restaurant owners. So that they cannot serve unhygienic food to the customers. If I talk about the United Kingdom, the UK environmental health officers can visit a restaurant for some crucial reasons, such as

  • If they complain about customers.
  • To carry out their routine for hygiene inspection.
  • They also inspect to test the food and restaurant cleanliness.  
  • The investigation team also investigates food poisoning arising from your premises.

What Happens If a Restaurant Scores Below 70 On a Health Inspection?

The restaurant's perfect health score is 100. Basically, there are three main categories, Category A, B, and Category C. Category A includes 90 to 100, Category B includes 80 to 89 scores, and Category C includes 70 to 79 scores. If your restaurant health score is below 70, then you must improve it. It means that you are not in any category.  

If I talk about the USA, the result of a restaurant score below 70 on a health inspection varies depending on the state and local health department. However, a restaurant with a score below 70 will be considered to have failed the inspection. And it will be subject to some form of enforcement action, such as

  • A written warning
  • A fine
  • A closure order

In some cases, a restaurant with a score below 70 may be allowed to remain open. If it takes immediate steps to correct the violations of health score limits. However, the restaurant will be closely monitored and may be subject to another inspection. But what can happen to the health department if the health score becomes below 70?  

  • The restaurant may be fined by the health department.
  • The restaurant may be ordered to close by the health department.
  • It will be re-inspected by the health department after it has taken steps to correct the violations.

How to Increase a Restaurant's Health Reputation?

Those are the new restaurants, this question is most necessary for them. Because achieving a reputation is a challenge. However, there are some crucial steps that can lead to achieving your restaurant's healthy reputation. Basically, the U.S. Health department has their own plant that is governed by the American government. 

The health inspector inspected that according to their department rules. However, we have referred to some crucial steps that can lead you to enhance a restaurant's health reputation. So, take a look at how to increase your restaurant reputation.

  • Implement strict food safety procedures. 
  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients.
  • Keep your restaurant clean and sanitary. 
  • Train your staff on food safety procedures. 
  • Get certified by a food safety organization. 
  • Respond to customer reviews promptly and professionally.
  • Get positive reviews from customers. 
  • Use sanitizers properly.
  • Be transparent about your food safety practices. 
  • Get involved in the community, where you are committed to making a positive impact on the community.
  • Keep food covered and protected from contamination.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Dispose of waste properly.

Final Thought

Health inspection is essentially done to prevent foodborne illness. Basically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 48 million people visit hospitals for treatment, 128,000 people are admitted to the hospital for a long duration, and 3,000 people die. 

This unexpected situation happens due to the lack of proper food safety and the violation of healthy food serving rules. So, food or restaurant inspections must be done at least once every six months according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) law.  In this case, the local health inspection department carries out the restaurant health inspections.