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Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection?

Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - collage: washing a pan, ladling soup into small trays; storing food in fridge

Be The Health Inspector For Your Own Kitchen

If a health inspection took place in your kitchen today, would it pass? If you’ve ever worked in the food service industry, you’re probably familiar with those occasional (and often unexpected) visits from a local health inspector.

Health inspections at restaurants are done to ensure certain standards of cleanliness and hygiene are being followed and that it’s safe for the public to eat there. Your own kitchen doesn’t need to meet the same stringent requirements, but finding out whether it would pass one of those inspections can be a useful way to make your kitchen safer and more hygienic.

If you’ve ever wondered ever whether your kitchen would pass a health inspection, now’s your chance to discover the answer! Use this self-test to inspect your own kitchen and behaviors according to the instructions, then I’ll tell you how to determine your results near the bottom of this post.

Home Kitchen Health Inspection

All of the following statements represent important food safety and hygiene practices. Keep track of the number of statements that are not true of your kitchen or food preparation habits.

Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - washing hands with soap

Hand Washing

  • I always have soap and paper towels available for hand washing.
  • I wash my hands frequently, especially after using the restroom and before preparing food.
  • I maintain my fingernails and remove jewelry from my hands before preparing foods.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - choosing produce at store


  • I make sure raw foods are separated from ready-to-eat foods when they are bagged at the grocery store.
  • I make sure hazardous chemicals are separated from foods when they are bagged at the grocery store.
  • After grocery shopping, I store cold foods (i.e. meat, milk) in the refrigerator within 2 hours.
  • I avoid canned foods that are damaged and/or swollen.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - showing food safely stored in fridge


  • My refrigerator is working properly, and the temperature inside is at or below 41°F.
  • Food in my refrigerator is well spaced so that cool air can circulate freely.
  • I store raw meats below all other food in my refrigerator.
  • Prepared foods in my refrigerator are covered to prevent contamination.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - rinsing a head of romaine in running water

Food Preparation

  • I thoroughly rinse my fruits and vegetables before cooking or eating them.
  • I defrost frozen foods by thawing them in the fridge, putting them under cold running water, using a microwave, or by cooking them from frozen.
  • I cook meat thoroughly until the juices are clear.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - washing a pan with dish soap


  • My home is free of rodents, cockroaches, and flies.
  • I wash my dishes and utensils with hot, soapy water.
  • My countertops and other food preparation surfaces are properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • My shelves and cabinets are clean and free of dust, and my food is stored on shelves (never on the floor).
  • I promptly discard and replace damaged utensils.
  • I keep my rags, towels, and cloths clean and dry.
  • I sanitize my sponge daily and replace it routinely.
  • My kitchen sink drains properly.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - ladling leftover soup into small trays for freezing


  • I never leave leftover foods at room temperature for more than 4 hours.
  • When cooking large portions of food to serve later, I rapidly cool it (i.e. using an ice bath, separating it into smaller portions, using containers that facilitate heat transfer, etc.) and store it in my refrigerator.
Would Your Kitchen Pass A Health Inspection? - spotless white kitchen counter and cupboard

How Did You Do?

When you’re finished with your inspection, tally up the number of statements that were not true:

  • If 0-2 statements weren’t true, you pass with an A grade.
  • If 3-5 statements weren’t true, you pass with a B grade.
  • If 6 or more statements weren’t true, you fail the inspection. (However, you’ll now know what you should be doing differently, which means it was a valuable learning experience!)

Were you surprised by the results of your “health inspection”?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Homekeeping Tips

  • Lots of things wouldn’t pass inspection in my kitchen – I have vitamins and pain meds in the same cabinet with my spices (!), cleaning products in the same cabinet as iron skillets, raw eggs stored above ready to eat foods in the fridge. That’s just an example of some of the things I’ve seen local restaurants lose point for.

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