Audit checklist for food manufacturing

Written by crystal lassen
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Audit checklist for food manufacturing
Audit checklists ensure that food safety practices are carried out during the manufacturing process. (food image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com)

Food and production audit checklists help maintain the safety of products and employees in a facility. A checklist should be obtained from the inspection company that you work with, as each company has specific guidelines. Basic audit checklists are also helpful as they may expand on safety practices.

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Employees

Evaluate employees' performance, hygiene and health. Make sure that employees don't have open wounds, such as cuts or boils, and are free from viruses, illness and disease, as these can be spread through fluid and lead to food contamination. Ensure that employees maintain personal appearance and overall cleanliness. Have a sanitation station near the work space and require that employees wash their hands after using the rest room. Provide hair and beard nets and enforce dress codes. Rings, watches and fingernail polish should be prohibited. Provide disposable gloves for the employees and require that gloves be worn during food handling.

Building Regulations

Keep the establishment free of insects and vermin by keeping the grounds clean. Prohibit standing water and maintain clean floors, walls, roofs and equipment. Repair cracks or holes in the foundation and measure the space between the bottom of doors and the floor. A pencil should not be able to pass underneath. Require that the rest rooms be cleaned daily. Supply paper towels and soap at all times. Install light shields that will prevent food from becoming contaminated with broken glass in the event that the lights should burst.

Extensive Sanitation and Pest Control

Hire a pest control professional and document the chemicals that are being used. Store U.S. Department of Agriculture- and Food and Drug Administration-approved chemicals on pallets away from food and at least 18 inches away from the walls. Keep the outside of the building free of weeds, debris and garbage. These are all places that pests will accumulate and can encourage infestation. Do not allow employees to smoke, eat or drink near the food production. Establish a designated break area for these activities. Make sure garbage bins are kept covered and are emptied regularly. Use water from an approved source such as from a private company or through the city. Keep hoses off of the floor and store them properly so that backflow doesn't occur. Backflow can contaminate the water supply.

Production

Don't use cleaning products on equipment that can cause build-up. Purchase equipment suitable for your purposes but that is easy to clean and inspect. Don't use temporary repair methods. Professional repair is necessary for the safety of food and employees. Rotate inventory by date. The oldest products should be shipped out first. Don't overstock items and inspect incoming vehicles before they are allowed to bring products into the facility. Remove spoiled or damaged products as soon as they are discovered. Store products in an orderly fashion. Don't store food items with non-food items. Stock items so they aren't blocking vents or machinery.

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