Restaurant cleaning inspection checklist

Updated April 17, 2017

A good restaurant must not only provide excellent food and service, but must also be clean and sanitary in its practices. Dirty restaurant practices can result in food-borne illnesses. It is essential to train managers and staff in practicing cleanliness at all times. Here are the basic guidelines in keeping a clean and safe restaurant.


All perishable food must be properly stored at the correct temperature. The food and ingredients must be in good condition, safe for human consumption and must come from approved sources. Special attention must be given to potentially hazardous foods, such as eggs, milk and shellfish. Everything that comes in contact with food must be properly sanitised, including cutting boards, utensils, mixers and other equipment. Special attention must be given to chopping boards in which boards for fruits and vegetables must never be used for raw meat and vice versa.

Restaurant Employees

Anyone who handles food must be responsible enough to thoroughly wash their hands with warm soapy water before, during and after coming in contact with food. Waiters must also wash hands before setting the table with plates, glasses and utensils. Employees who are sick must not be allowed to go near food or food area. They must also practice proper hygiene such as regularly trim their nails, wear hair restraints or hairnets and proper uniform. Smoking and eating within the food preparation area must not be permitted.

Restaurant Facilities and Equipment

Proper cleanliness cannot be achieved without proper facilities. Rest rooms should always be clean and equipped with a functioning toilet and faucet. There should be toilet paper, hand dryer and soap. A cleaning schedule must be posted and employees must wash hands after using the rest room. There must be sinks accessible to the food preparation area where employees can frequently wash hands. Chemical cleansers and other hazardous material must be stored away from the food area. Equipment such as cold storage and freezers must be in excellent condition to ensure proper temperature. Air conditioners must also be periodically inspected to make sure it is clear of accumulated dust. The cooking area must be well ventilated with exhaust fans. The main garbage area must be located outside and must have proper lids to prevent rodents and insects from coming inside the restaurant.

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About the Author

Based in North Carolina, Rossana Coscolluela has been writing since 1997. She was editor of the University of the Philippines’ “UPV Information Manual” and has also been an editorial consultant for various custom publications. She currently enjoys freelance writing. Coscolluela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in comparative literature from the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.