Sometimes health department inspections happen without issues and sometimes minor procedures need to be addressed, but what should be done after a failing a health inspection or the health inspector arrives at your facility after multiple reports of foodborne illness? What should trigger a certified food protection manager to consider a temporary shutdown?
Knowing When a Certified Food Protection Manager Should Consider Temporary Closure
It’s very important to know the difference between a failed health inspection report that can be addressed without shutting your doors and one that requires a complete shutdown.
Take a recent incident in Colorado involving a Red Robin restaurant for example. After multiple reports of E.coli poisoning and several critical health violations, the management of the restaurant determined that a voluntary closure was necessary to address sanitation issues and complete food safety training for all employees at this location. We don’t know if the local health inspectors would have mandated a shutdown eventually, but it should be noted to the company’s credit that they put the health of their customers over the potential loss of business when word of the shutdown spread.
We should also point out that their Colorado equivalent of our MN certified food protection manager decided to work with the local health department rather than address these issues on their own. In a situation like this, there is no greater expert in the field than your trained health inspector. They know the food codes and potential causes of foodborne illness better than anyone.
Certified food protection manager training in Minnesota does not specifically outline the point when you need to close your doors to address food safety issues, but it should give us a guide to recognize when we have a major problem. If you have an isolated sanitation issue or one or two employees that commit violations due to poor training, you can probably fix these situations without closing your facility. However, if you have several guests reporting sicknesses after eating at your establishment, have a health inspection review with several different of red flags or have known equipment issues that prevent you from protecting your guests, closing your doors temporarily to properly address these issues may be the right thing to do.
Working with your health inspector to address issues is the best way to reopen in a timely manner. If you need a knowledgeable professional to come to your facility to provide training, Safe Food Training can design a course to address specific issues pertinent to your establishment.