Cleaning up a business for an inspection
A visit from an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) is often looked as an inconvenience at best or a threat to the business at worst, but they are a valuable aid to a professionally run company.
EHOs are there to ensure that certain standards are being met, and that potentially dangerous practises are stopped, before they result in serious consequences; any of which could result in the business losing its reputation, valuable contracts or, where injury or loss of life has occurred, fines or imprisonment or for those ultimately responsible. Since EHOs have a right of access at any reasonable time it is always best to be prepared, and it makes good business sense too.
Display good practise
During an inspection it is important not only to be seen to be following good practise on the day, but also to hold records that show that standards are constantly maintained. For a food business this will mean holding temperature records and having a HACCP analysis for the production cycle, but just as important are cleaning, COSHH and maintenance records.
While all reputable companies carry out regular daily and weekly cleaning there are some areas that require regular deep cleaning, which can be awkward and costly, requiring heavy equipment to be dismantled or moved. This is when specialist companies are very useful; they can come in when the business is closed and will be out again before it re-opens.
Demonstrate due diligence
Just as having an external pest inspection on a regular basis shows due diligence, so does a regular deep clean. Should the worst happen and somebody have a bad day during an inspection, making a mistake in front of an inspector, then records of good practise will help to persuade them that it was a one off; it often happens due to nerves. Similarly, if someone has an accident, slips on a floor for example, an audit from an outside company, recording that it is regularly cleaned, using professional equipment and according to the manufacturer’s instructions, may well help if the case comes to court.