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restaurant inspections 2008/8/30 00:50
I am a health inspector in the United States and was doing research on Japan on how they keep there restaurants clean and sanitary. I am interested in what the health inspector's in Japan do and the laws they enforce to keep the public safe. Any info or lead will help. Thanks.
by skyspeed  

germs 2008/8/31 19:48
I guess that their biggest concern is bacteria such as ecoli germs. Many people die each year from O157 killer germs.
by bobo rate this post as useful

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare 2008/8/31 22:47
A restaurant owner needs a licence that can be obtained by contacting the local "hokenjo (public health center)". The hokenjo is authorized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.
http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/index.html

My understanding is that you need to attend some lectures and learn what kind of bacteria to watch out for and how. But I have the impression that more than the licence, what counts is their reputation. With the exception of a few low-down taverns, Japanese customers are quite picky on sanitary issues. If they see a fork being picked up from the floor and placed directly on a table, the restaurant can loose many customers and would be out of business.
by Uco rate this post as useful

Many people? 2008/8/31 22:51
Where are you getting your information that "many" people in Japan die from O157?

Anyhow, there's certainly been outbreaks of food poisoning in the past but I don't think that has much to do with a restaurant's actual cleanliness and sanitation.
by ASUJake rate this post as useful

re:many people? 2008/9/1 00:17
I don't see a word "Japanese" in the sentence "Many people die each year from O157 killer germs". Do you,Janet?

by bobo rate this post as useful

personal opinion 2008/9/1 01:59
my opinion is that most japanese kitchens are filthy compared to well run western kitchens. i have worked in the food industry both in canada, the usa and here in japan. i have always been the cleanest among my coworkers while working in japan. i find i had to teach my coworkers about cross contamination, and why they need to be constantly washing their hands, etc.

i have never seen any disgusting violations (picking forks up off the floor, insects, etc) but cross contamination is rampant and in my opinion dangerous especially for stored foods and unrefrigerated foods.

also the physical appearance of most restaurant kitchens here is appalling - they are VERY dirty looking. i wonder if they ever clean the grease traps and hood vents. it doesn't look like they do.

but i think those are fairly minor - the food itself is fine and the cooking utensils and areas directly involved in preparing food are also clean.
by winterwolf rate this post as useful

Observed once 2008/9/1 23:16
I think each city has inspectors or at least companies have their own in house inspectors as well.

I was eating at Matsuya once, and this guy came in wearing a suit, he had a camera and some notebooks and testing material, he put on an apron and I though "he's well dressed to be working here", but all he did was go to the side and start testing (or what I assume) the water quality, water temperature, and how clean each dish was as it came out of the dish washer machine. He would note things down in his notebook and take photos of the water chem results (he had a small field test kit), after he left.
by John rate this post as useful

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