In the midst of the house move, with my sleep cycle terribly confused from the day job and the tea-o-meter showing dangerously low levels, my phone rang. It informed me that the Environmental Health Department of the District Council wished to pay homage to the Jabberwocky. They would come bearing gifts of paperwork and seek a blessing from the Beast. I agreed, a time was arranged, and I went back to bed.
I should mention that two days prior to this we received the grand news that our application to register as a food business was accepted, and that the authorities were consequently acting of their own accord, much to my befuddled morning surprise. It’s also important to note that this is very much Barny’s area of expertise. He holds a variety of certificates to prove that he knows what he is doing, and in regards to food safety within the Jabberwocky the buck will stop with him. My first move, therefore, was to tell Barny, who embarked on a quest to find the printer (long lost in the void between the two houses) and to print off all the check lists and procedures he had been working on.
Judging by the amount of legislation that covers it, restaurants appear to be one of the most dangerous places on earth, and must be checked, monitored and documented at every turn, presumably to prevent them from one day rising up, turning on humanity and taking over. That said a lot of the requirements are so that you, as a business, can demonstrate to the public that you are doing everything possible to ensure their safety and well being. You can hate the guidelines, in fact I believe that is an official industry standard, but you still need them.
The actual visit was not as torturous as could have been expected. There are things we need to change, like the wire that loops gracefully across the ceiling (apparently it dangles), and the mysterious crack in the lino near the fridge (trip hazard). We can fix these things though, and every single one of them brings us one step closer to getting there. One day we too will earn our place amongst the food vans of history, next to that one that does those really great … um thingies and the one opposite your old work and that random one you found when you were really, really hungry. That may sound a little cynical, but I mean it; food is about people and personal experiences rather than reviews and top tens. So save us a spot in your hall of fame, it feels like we are now well on our way.