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The Ultimate Secret Sauce: Easily Passing Every Department of Health Kitchen Inspection

girl keeping secrets

For the first 20 years of your life, you went through an incredible transformation which you will probably never experience again.

Learning how to walk and talk, interact, play, socialize, and thrive. Then came school. Lots of it. Every year brought an entirely new challenge building on the previous one. It went on FOREVER (it seems).

If you did well in any particular area, chances are it was because you were inspired through your own interest or, in many other cases, threatened by your parents. Either one was a powerful tool!

Think about the years and years of your development. In the beginning, there were more downs than ups. Over time, and as you matured, it all came together and made you into "you". Nursery School. Kindergarten. Grade School. Junior/Senior High. College or Advanced Education. It took a long time.

But through those years, there was at least one "constant" for everyone. Remember when you had to prepare for a big test, mid-term, or final exam? Sure, we all experienced that anxiety and apprehension. For decades, it was ingrained in us: study hard, practice, and you will do well.

study group in library

Forgetting What You Already Learned

At some point, though, it seems many of us forgot those winning strategies. Everything that we learned over all those years of excelling was suddenly discarded when it came time to applying them to DOH Inspections. What happened?

According to recent press publications, between 40% and 50% of restaurants inspected in South Florida failed their tests, with a multitude being Closed Down. Yes, forced to stop operations on the spot. Can you imagine so many of your school-mates flunking out each time a test was given at school?

Worse, those losing DOH scores are prominently (and permanently) posted online, printed in the papers, and accessible through simple web searches. Nobody remembers your algebra test score from high school, but your DOH Score is a forever-reminder of your professional status as a foodservice operator.

Power of the Press

A highly popular restaurant in Boca Raton, FL, just faced that prospect -- they were shuttered right at the start of the busy December season.

Along with the restaurant's highly recognizable name, BocaNewsNow recited the horrible inspection details: "High Priority – Roach activity present as evidenced by live roaches found. Observed 1 live roach on prep table at pizza station on front line not in kitchen. Observed approximately 15 live roaches on ground behind prep table and shelving directly next to salad station Observed 2 live roaches on bottom shelf of shelving holding paper products directly next to salad line. Operator started to remove clean and sanitize."

sorry closed sign

Another popular target for online exposure are private country clubs. Perceived as rich and luxurious facilities managed at the highest level of professionalism, they are routinely pilloried in the press.

Here is part of the Miami Herald's description of a high-profile Club in Wellington, FL, complete with the Club's name:

"Wonder if the eight live roaches walking on the tray with canned goods and the six live roaches on the wall outside the kitchen dry storage room applied for membership or did they just invite themselves? Seven flies and five running roaches kept [the Club] closed."

Sure, these are egregious cases. But they are not isolated incidents. Dozens of inspection reports are routinely published weekly, along with fines, actions, and closures for much lesser violations. Even "good" reports are published and include many details you would never want your customers to see.

Nobody is Immune: Even the Famous

Just recently named as a 'Must-Try" restaurant, here is one of the recent inspection outcomes published for a highly touted Michelin-starred facility in tony Palm Beach, FL:

department of health inspection report

In a broad sense, this common outcome is an utter disaster for the hospitality industry. After all these years, why is passing a Department of Health kitchen inspection so wrought with problems?

When you see nearly half of facilities failing their inspections, or "tests", there is a systemic problem.

Meanwhile, with the ever-presence of the internet and soon to be advanced capabilities of A.I., the internet is certain to provide even more reputational and brand damage than any operation can afford. Your customers might read the above while sitting at your table. Competitors are more than happy to seize upon the bad fortunes of others, as well.

What is the Secret Sauce in passing a DOH test?

It truly is simple. Think back to when you faced that crucial mid-term or final exam. What did you do? You studied. You took quizzes. You looked at flashcards. You had your friends sit in a group and test each other under "live" conditions. There were study guides and even practice-tests.

All of those things prepared you for the real thing. And, if you did those things well while practicing, you easily passed and probably exceeded your own expectations on the real test. In fact, the exam may have seemed pretty easy by that point.

The hospitality industry faces the same circumstances. You KNOW the test is coming, yet many are hardly prepared. Each time the DOH Inspector shows, they act like it is a complete shock and surprise. Well, duh, they told you they were coming. Maybe not the date, but you were certainly on notice. And you know the DOH is not shy about enforcement.

Just like your parents and teachers held you to high standards, you were motivated to excel for them. Well, it's time for you to do the same with your own staff. They need to be held accountable. Part of earning their keep is doing their jobs in accordance with your work standards. And, by the way, it's the law.

surprised elementary student with book

Practice, Practice, Practice

To accomplish that, your staff needs to be educated (trained), instructed in proper protocols (managed), ranked in their abilities (monitored), and provided feedback (tested). It has to be done over and over again. New Staff. New Practices. New Menu Items. New Equipment. It's a never-ending cycle: just like school lasted forever.

If the DOH tests only 1-2 times per year and you have not committed to any type of practice, then don't be surprised when you fail. It's really that simple!

The good news is that HealthInspectorPro can get you started on that path. We provide a constant, ongoing, and predictable program of unannounced and authentic inspections which replicate the real-world conditions of a DOH inspection. Over time, your organization becomes accustomed to snap-inspections and the requirements needed to easily pass.

Combined with your ongoing training (or ours) and a repetitive cycle of testing, your team learns how to comply and ace the exam. Using your own incentive program, your results can be leveraged even further, allowing for even faster, fun, and lasting improvements.

Our program allows you to remain cognizant of your DOH inspection soft-points and the best places to aim your efforts in health code remediation. Together, our program keeps your operation accountable, healthy, and out of the press.

The economic benefits of avoiding the catastrophic outcomes of fines, administrative actions, and closure make our services the most intelligent business decision you could ever make.

Secrets are made to be broken. But don't allow yours to be published in the press! Share them with your private and confidential partner, HealthInspectorPro, instead. Are you prepared for your upcoming test?

Contact us to confirm coverage in your area and to arrange a complimentary site-visit and quote. Our reasonable rates and extraordinary benefits make this one of the smartest business decisions you ever made.





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