You know the feeling. You’re behind on prep for a busy day of food service, a chef has called in sick, a delivery is on the way – and now an Environmental Health Officer has arrived for an unannounced inspection. 

With proactive safety planning and an understanding of inspectors’ top targets, you can master even the most meticulous review.

Here are our expert tips on avoiding the five most common – and critical – school kitchen safety errors:

  1. Check your use-by dates before every close, throwing away any food that’s going out of date the next day. This simple step means that even if you’re busy and delayed the following morning, you’re never storing expired items. Out-of-date food is unsafe and can have significant consequences on your food hygiene rating.
  2. Prioritise your opening checks and due diligence records. Admin gaps can seriously impact your Scores on the Doors, so stay on top of reporting by documenting information as soon as it’s collected.
  3. When it comes to EHO inspections, out of sight is definitely not out of mind. Make sure your checks cover every requirement, not just those right in front of you. Examine all use-by dates in your fridge, confirming nothing has fallen to the back or been missed. Also ensure cleaning is carried out in unseen areas, such as the underside of fridge handles and the blade of large industrial tin openers. Conduct regular deep cleans that tackle hard-to-reach spots, such as the castors on kitchen units.
  4. Locate and organise all current paperwork. The EHO will want to view your food safety management system, daily records and other important documents, such as pest control reports and training certificates. Keep them updated, compliant and close to hand.
  5. Always clean as you go. This vital practice removes food poisoning bacteria straight away and makes the cleaning process easier to keep on top of – so your kitchen is hygienic, sanitary and up to standard for a surprise EHO visit. 
Discover technology that streamlines food safety  

Food safety can be a full-time job, so it pays to have a 24/7 tool that simplifies your approach from start to finish. Safety Cloud compliance management software creates an online hub for all safety-related documents, policies and risk assessments, placing robust data and due diligence trails within immediate reach.