The wine bar industry is booming across the US, with establishments such as Haley.henryin Boston, Bar Covell in LA, and Bacchanal Wine in New Orleans attracting long queues and receiving rave reviews in gastronomic publications across the globe. These bars give foodies the chance to sample wines from across the globe, often by glass, thanks to high-tech wine station machines that keep bottles in top condition long after they are opened. Many visitors attend their favorite wine bar after work or for pre-dinner drinks. Despite food not being a key pulling factor at wine bars, you may wonder if your favorite venue is safe enough for you to visit without worrying about gastrointestinal and other upsets.
The Standard of Cleaning
Healthy and safety inspectors don’t only look at how food and beverages are stored or the expiration dates of consumables. One of the key aspects of an inspection involves how clean and well-maintained a bar is. Most bars have shiny, clean tables and an impeccable bar area, yet they may have accumulated dirt, mold, and bacteria in places that are harder to spot. During a typical inspection, professionals may look in areas such as behind or under the sink, and the underside of shelving. When you visit your favorite bar next, make an effort to check the cleanliness of items that may be hidden from your immediate view.
It is definitely not normal to see pests or creepy crawlies making their way through the bar as if they were John Wayne. You should never have to come across any insects or pests if an establishment follows pest control norms. This is because even if you aren’t consuming a meal, the presence of pests can still cause contamination and harm a bar’s public image. Take a look at the surroundings of the bar. Are there garbage cans filled with trash? Within the establishment itself, are there crumbs and other remnants of snacks served with wine? Food that is left for hours can attract insects of all sizes, so once again, frequent cleaning and a safe disposal of garbage is vital.
Confidence in the Management
Food safety in a bar is intricately tied into the excellence of the management. You can ace your personal investigation of your chosen bar by looking out for signs that the management is less-than-perfect. The most important issues that may arise when management is poor are high employee turnover, a poor customer experience, and customer unsatisfaction. When you visit the establishment, are you quickly attended to? Are all bottles on the wine list available, and is there an interesting array of snacks or tapas to accompany top bottles? When customer service is less-than-enthusiastic and workers are showing signs of stress, it’s a good sign that the person in charge isn’t the kind of leader that inspires them. Motivated employees go the extra mile to ensure that everything from service to hygiene and cleanliness are covered.
Wine bars don’t usually get a bad rap for a lack of food safety, but since most offer snacks alongside their wine list, they do required food safety inspection in a similar vein to restaurants. The best sign that an establishment is safe is cleanliness—not only on tables and bars but also in bathrooms and parts of the furniture you may need to bend and look beneath to check. Management is also key. Good bosses are likely to motivate staff to stick to food and safety protocols and to go the extra mile to ensure their workplace is spick and span.