Division of Hotels and Restaurants
Food Preparation Area
Now, the most important part of the inspection -- the actual food preparation area. The inspector washes his hands before entering that area. While doing so, the inspector checks that hot and cold water, soap and towels are provided. He also notes if the plumbing is working properly.
While the inspector is in the food preparation area, staff food handling procedures are closely observed -- how food is stored, prepared and served. The inspector checks and records food temperatures, both hot and cold. How and when were the foods prepared? Were safe thawing practices followed? Have foods been contaminated by infected workers or from other sources, including cross-contamination? Does the potential exist for contamination of cooked food with soiled equipment and utensils?
The inspector also observes certain food items that have a higher potential for risk of mishandling due to large volume or multiple-step preparation. Some foods are more potentially hazardous than others and receive extra scrutiny: turkey, ham, roast beef, chicken, potato salad, gravy, barbecue beef and ribs, sausage, raw eggs, pork, macaroni salad, tuna salad, stew, soup, egg rolls and fried won-ton.