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Top 10 Tips to Ensure Your Facility is “Survey-Ready”

List Compiled by: Barbara Thomsen, CDM, CFPP

Surveys can be stressful for everyone in the foodservice department. One way to help alleviate some of the pressure is to know what the federal regulations require, and then try to view those requirements through the eyes of the surveyors. A key to success is to make it ‘Survey Day’ every day, and create a routine in your kitchen.

Here is a Top Ten checklist to help get you and your team survey-ready every day:

1. STAFF TRAINING

◻ Regular training schedule in effect
◻ Staff is accountable
◻ Supervisors lead by example

2. DEPARTMENT EMPLOYEES

◻ Hair restraints cover ALL hair (facial restraint if needed)
◻ Fingernails short and clean
◻ Staff wearing proper uniforms

3. HANDWASHING AND GLOVE USAGE

◻ Handwashing stations in working order
◻ Proper handwashing techniques procedures enforced
◻ Gloves used when handling RTE foods

4. COLD STORAGE

◻ Refrigerator, freezer shelves, floors clean and free of spillage
◻ Foods free from slime, mold
◻ Freezer temperature 0°F or below and refrigerator 41°F or below
◻ Refrigerated foods covered, dated, labeled and shelved to allow air circulation
◻ Cooked foods stored over raw meat; egg and egg-rich foods are refrigerated

5. DRY STORAGE

◻ Food is off floor by 6”, on sanitizable shelves, 18” from ceiling
◻ All food is in enclosed clean containers if opened
◻ Food is neatly arranged/dated and FIFO
◻ Non-food and chemicals are stored away from food
◻ NSF-approved food storage containers are used for leftover, opened items

6. FOOD PREPARATION

◻ Employees washing hands before and after handling food
◻ Gloves worn when handling ready-to-eat foods or clean utensils when necessary
◻ Infection control practices in place and followed
◻ Pasteurized eggs used
◻ Frozen raw meats and poultry thawed in refrigerator or under cold running water
◻ Cooked foods cooled down safely prior to storage
◻ Cross-contamination between raw and RTE foods is avoided

7. FOOD SERVICE/SANITATION

◻ Hot foods are maintained at 140°F or above when served
◻ Cold foods are maintained 41°F or below when served
◻ Foods are covered until served
◻ Food is protected from contamination during transportation and distribution
◻ Food contact surfaces and utensils are cleaned to prevent cross-contamination
◻ Food trays, dinnerware, utensils are clean and in good condition
◻ Dishwasher’s hot water wash is 140°F and rinse cycle is 180°F or chemical sanitation per manufacturer’s instructions followed
◻ Correct manual dishwashing procedures (3-compartment sink, correct water temperature, chemical concentration, immersion time)

8. STAFFING QUALIFICATIONS/TRAINING

◻ Staff has been trained in food safety and sanitation; documentation is on file
◻ Cooks have training in modified diets
◻ Kitchen has updated diet manual to reference
◻ Foodservice director is a CDM, CFPP or full-time RDN (or state requirements are met) and documentation is on file

9. HAVE ON HAND WHEN SURVEYOR WALKS IN THE DOOR

◻ Meal times and seating charts (if applicable)
◻ Weekly menus and extensions (spreadsheets)
◻ List of residents’ diets including those on mechanically altered diets and those using adaptive equipment
◻ List of residents receiving special snacks
◻ List of residents with weight changes

10. BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE

◻ Diet manual and in-service documentation
◻ Food invoices for past twelve months, recipes
◻ Employee schedules and RDN reports
◻ Safety Data Sheet manual, disaster menu and plan
◻ Sanitation reports, cleaning schedules
◻ Temperature logs – food, refrigerator, freezer, dish machiner, opened items



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