What is a food safety inspection checklist?
Good food hygiene and safety practices are promoted by using a food safety inspection checklist at least twice a year. Used accurately and applied conscientiously, it is a powerful tool to ensure food safety and quality standards.
It is also a practical guide to establishing proper hygiene standards and will reinforce correct sanitizing and cleaning, which destroys potentially harmful pathogens. Meticulous food safety inspections, using a comprehensive food safety audit checklist, can also help avoid accidents and legal actions.
A comprehensive food safety audit will:
- Ensure that all kitchen activities, food handling, food storage, and waste disposal are standard.
- Prevent food hazards like contamination and cross-contamination from occurring.
- Ensure that potentially problematic food products (like raw meat and all animal products) are handled correctly.
In this article, the following points are explained:
1. What a food inspection checklist should cover
2. How your proper checklist look like
3. Easier completion of checklists with digital technology
What should a food safety inspection checklist cover?
A comprehensive food safety checklist will look at a wide range of food safety-related issues and practices, including:
- How hygienically the food is received, handled, processed, and stored.
- How food safety procedures are structured, managed, and documented.
- Assessing the overall condition of the premises.
- Inspecting how standards of hygiene are enforced regarding employees, like handwashing, hairnets, illness, etc.
- Determining that safety checks regarding opening and closing fridges, freezers, and cold rooms are in place.
- What cooking and hot-holding temperature checks are in place.
- How often freezer and fridge temperature checks are conducted. This is most efficient via the use of a food or fridge temperature log template.
- That temperature probes are calibrated weekly.
- Appropriate allergen control and separation checks are conducted.
- Handling of allergic reaction and food poisoning reports.
- That dishwashers and water quality checks are undertaken regularly.
- That meticulous testing and monitoring for legionella bacteria are performed
- That checks and control measures are in place at food hazard points (HACCP), and
- Checks and controls are in place regarding possible pest activity.
How your proper Food safety inspection checklist look like
There are generally three steps in a food safety audit, that you have to follow:
- Reviewing all records and documentation related to the business’s food safety policy and procedures.
- Conducting an on-site assessment of all processes, systems, and practices for handling food.
- Establishing an action plan to rectify non-conformances quickly and appropriately.
Creating a proper food safety checklist takes a lot of effort. That's why we've already made a comprehensive food safety checklist for you to use right on the spot. If you want to create your individual food safety checklist with our form builder or want to make adjustments, you can get inspired by the following checklist items.
1. Records, documentation, and delivery policies
- Is the Approved Supplier list up-to-date and all suppliers licensed and with HACCP certification?
- Are all staff members familiar with food safety issues regarding accepting and dealing with incoming food and products?
- Do staff know the food safety factors when inspecting food delivery vehicles, and are such inspections carried out regularly?
- Are all food items inspected and segregated on the receipt?
- Is all damaged food, and food in damaged packaging, discarded or returned?
- Are delivery record sheets completed accurately?
- Are all foods to be delivered listed on the approved supplier’s list?
- Are all product specifications available at the receiving point?
- Have specified procedures done receipt of goods?
- Are temperatures of frozen and refrigerated products monitored?
- After delivery, are all products immediately stored in the correct areas?
- Are all storage areas clean and logically organized?
- Are all storage areas at the correct temperature and monitored accordingly?
- Are all foods stored to avoid cross-contamination?
- Is the storage space big enough for its use and purpose and uncluttered?
- Are all food products stored clear of the ground and wall surfaces?
- Are all food storage containers covered?
- Are all foods stored on a use-by-date basis?
- Are there demarcated areas for holding foods as well as for food on recall?
- Are all food items in storage clearly labeled by name, use-by date, and date of delivery?
- Are all pre-prepared foods in storage and all work-in-progress clearly labeled?
- Are allergen-free foods stored so that no cross-contamination can occur?
- Is the storage area in good repair with impermeable floors, no wall damage, and no condensation in refrigeration areas?
- Are all door seals functioning correctly?
- Are all cleaning products and other chemicals stored well away from all food storage areas?
- Are all storage areas pest-, animal- and rodent-free?
- Are all thermometers, fridges, freezers, and cold rooms calibrated at least twice yearly?
3. Employee training and behaviors
- Are all employees trained and instructed on proper handwashing, and is this closely monitored and enforced?
- Are all food handling areas equipped with proper handwashing facilities and supplies?
- Are the proper hair restraints worn?
- Are the fingernails of food handlers clean and trimmed short?
- Are food handlers free of jewelry like rings, wristwatches, and bracelets that may prevent thorough hand washing?
- Are all food handlers free of any exposed cuts, sores, or abrasions?
- Is eating and drinking restricted in all food handling and preparation areas?
- Are no-smoking rules strictly enforced in all food handling and preparation areas?
- Is all bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food-restricted during handling and serving?
- Are adequate supplies of gloves readily available to all employees?
- Are proper scoops supplied for serving food and ice, and are they appropriately stored between uses?
- Are all employees informed and trained as regards the employee and customer illness reporting policy?
- Is sanitizer effectiveness tested, monitored, recorded, and logged regularly?
- Are all dishes, utensils, food preparation tables, contact surfaces, and sinks sanitized adequately after use?
- Are all employees properly trained in the safe use of cleaning chemicals?
4. Food production, preparation, control, and serving
- Are final cooking temperatures of food items monitored and recorded as specified?
- Are all cold-holding temperatures maintained, monitored, and recorded as specified?
- Are all hot-holding temperatures maintained, monitored, and recorded as specified?
- Are potentially hazardous food items properly date-marked and disposed of if expired?
- Is a safe potable water supply available at all times and protected from siphonage or back-flow?
- Are hot and cold water supplies available throughout the premises where required?
- Are all sinks supplied with cleanser and paper towel dispensers?
- Are all unauthorized people and customers restricted from storage and food preparation areas?
- Is care taken that no food is kept between 41˚F and 135˚F (the ‘danger zone’) for more than four hours?
- Are raw foods stored below ready-to-eat or cooked foods?
- Is hot-holding equipment like warmers and steam tables never used for reheating?
- Are all foods like pork, poultry, stuffed meats, or shellfish cooked at the requisite temperatures?
- Is the first-in, first-out (FIFO) rule observed?
- Are all vegetables and raw fruits thoroughly washed before serving?
5. General cleanliness and maintenance
- Are waste bins emptied and all garbage bags regularly removed from food preparation and kitchen areas?
- Is all dirty laundry like cleaning cloths and aprons regularly placed in designated dirty laundry bags?
- Are cleaning schedules strictly adhered to?
- Are all cleaning cloths and buckets sanitized and tested with chemical testing strips?
- Are reusable cloths used only for sanitizing equipment surfaces and not for drying hands or utensils?
Easier completion of food safety inspection checklists with digital technology
Food safety inspection checklists help to standardize workflows and kitchen hygiene. This increases the efficiency and productivity of employees. A clean and hygienic environment largely affects food processing, preparation, and service processes.
To perform regular checks with pen and paper is time-consuming and unreliable. That's where switching to digital technology like Lumiform pays off. The mobile app and desktop software allow inspections and audits to be performed on-site via smartphone or tablet. All data is stored securely in the cloud and can be accessed at any time by authorized personnel. As a result, Lumiform can help companies ensure compliance with hygiene regulations and avoid fines.
Use the app and desktop software to streamline food safety inspections and effectively implement food safety processes. With Lumifor, you and your team can:
- With the intuitive mobile application, every inspection can be carried out on-site with ease and in a time-saving manner.
- Record photo evidence of food safety hazards, annotate them, and add them to your checklist to create a more comprehensive report.
- Create corrective actions in the app and assign them to responsible parties.
Set the due date and determine the priority level.
- Schedule regular food safety inspections and know when assigned food safety inspections are completed using Lumiform's scheduling feature.
- Conduct inspections and automatically generate food safety reports that can be accessed by all team members.
- Gain insights into productivity, compliance, accuracy, and more with Lumiform's analytics feature. Learn which food safety issues are recurring and need to be addressed immediately.