When starting with a catering business you will be required to have many licenses and certifications, and must adhere to Health Department regulations. You will need to contact your local Health Department for the specific regulations, certifications, licenses, and insurance information for your area. The Health Department also usually requires an inspection of the area to be used for your catering business.
The cooks and employees need to be clearly aware of food service sanitation especially when it comes to the storage of finished or prepared food. And this knowledge affects the decision of the health department in order to approve the kitchen. Certain food items always have specific regulations and therefore if the kitchen is going to prepare those kinds of food in particular then these precise regulations should be known by the workers.
There is a legal obligation to provide information and training on health and safety to all employees who need it, including full time staff, new recruits and part-timers. Slips, trips and falls give rise to a third of all reported accidents in catering premises. Consider floor cleaning, procedures to clean up spillages, and appropriate footwear. These will be inspected by the health department officers as to what steps are taken to prevent such accidents. All precautions are therefore a necessity. It is vital to show to the officers that you are taking all necessary measures to keep your employees as well as your guests safe from all kinds of accidents including food- borne illness or fire or even a slip. Consider what causes burns and scalds. The safe use of oven cloths is to be done by keeping them dry and in good condition. Many cleaning agents can cause bad burns and eyes are particularly at risk.
You ought to clearly remind your employees that while at work they have a legal duty to take reasonable care of the health and safety of themselves, their colleagues and others with whom they come in contact as well their guests and also they ought to co-operate with their employer in complying with health and safety requirements.
The health department will check that all the equipments are in safe working order and are being correctly used, cleaned, maintained and stored and that the staff is trained in the correct use and cleaning of equipment before they are allowed to use it.
The procedures regarding the food items are to be inspected like whether the products are being correctly handled and safe procedures are followed while lifting and handling, cleaning, including proper isolation of equipment, safe use of chemicals; and use of protective clothing and equipment such as gloves and goggles if required.
Proper hygiene is to be maintained in the kitchen. When the place is inspected and the main chef is probably interviewed the health department will check the knowledge on proper hygiene before approving the kitchen. These are the most important facts to remember in order to get the approval of the state or local health department.