Wednesday, 6 April 2011

An inspector calls

It's a legal requirement that all new food businesses need to register with the council 28 days before opening.  I was super keen and registered in January when we formed the company and we're still yet to sell a single brownie.  Ever since then I've been dreading the health and safety inspection and secretly hoped that we wouldn't have to have one. 

We were supposed to have our inspection 2 weeks ago, but unfortunately we had a builder in doing some plastering and he accidentally managed to blow the electricity circuit for the whole house an hour before our inspection.  I was so frustrated that Melissa had to make the phonecall to rearrange, but luckily the lady at the council was really understanding. 

So for the last two weeks I've tried to put to the back of my mind all the negative thoughts like maybe we're not allowed a basement kitchen, what if we need to buy a new kitchen table because our wooden one isn't hygienic enough, where are we going to be able to buy blue plasters??  And as I was trying to avoid a mild panic attack brought on by too much kitchen surface wiping, right on the dot of 10am, Jo the health inspector from Brighton and Hove Council turned up on our doorstep.

I'm not sure what I was expecting (Inspector Gadget maybe?) but Jo was very nice and extremely helpful. She didn't take any swabs of the surfaces or check how clean the inside of the cooker was but she did look inside the fridge so I'm glad it was spotlessly clean.  Most of the inspection was sitting at the kitchen table talking through our cooking, cleaning and storing procedures and most of it was common sense.  I'm happy to report that we are on the right track in most areas, the only recommendations she made were for us to get a fridge thermometer (and she's going to send us one in the post), a fly screen for if we want to open the window in the summer and for us to change our kitchen cleaner for one that's anti-bacterial.  Apparently Ecover is great for cleaning but doesn't actually kill germs - who would have known? 

We have a bit of paperwork to fill out but now my worries can be laid to rest - we've passed and are free to trade our own baked goods.  To celebrate Melissa and I had a beer with lunch and a piece of cake.  Well we may as well make the most of being home in the daytime....

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