Food Safety Checklist

Incorporating a food safety checklist into your health and safety program not only keeps you compliant and protects the brand from claims, lawsuits, and other headaches but also encourages staff to act appropriately.

“The audit process itself becomes a driver for people to not only comply, but to actually have the right behaviors and be able to work safely and respond to things correctly.” – Gary Johnson, Senior Consultant at Prevention Advisors

In the age of Facebook, Twitter and Yelp, dealing with a negative health inspection can be detrimental to a restaurant or QSR. Stay on top of health and safety with regular in-house inspections.

Parts of this food safety self-inspection checklist come from the Nicolette County Official Website and are included here in case the information is moved or removed from their website.

A good checklist needs a good workflow

In highly competitive industries like retail and hospitality, it is critical to hit the ground running with flawless execution of programs and brand standards.
Know how to build a checklist to effectively communicate, execute, and verify essential standards and programs across all sites.
When issues are found, assign corrective actions to ensure they are resolved before they affect the guest experience, the brand’s reputation, and the bottom line.

Employee and Customer Illness

When done, here is content other readers find helpful:
  1. Are all employees trained, as required, on the Employee Illness Policy?
  2. Ill employees are excluded, restricted or sent home as required?
  3. Are all employees up to date on all immunizations, including a complete hepatitis series?
  4. All customer complaints of illness are addressed by management and reported
    immediately as required?
  5. Training on how to proceed in the event of a product recall has been provided?

Complaint IA Change Management in Retail ad


  1. All employees are trained on proper handwashing?
  2. Eating, drinking, or tobacco use is restricted in food areas?
  3. Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat and ready-to-serve food items is restricted?
  4. Facilities are adequately stocked with soap, warm water and paper towel for proper handwashing?
  5. An adequate supply of gloves is available to all employees?
  6. Clean uniforms are worn including proper safety shoes?
  7. Hairnets or hats are worn by all employees?
  8. Staff consume personal beverages or foods only in the designated staff area?

Food Receiving

  1. Food is purchased from approved suppliers/no home prepared food?
  2. Is food received at proper temperatures? Monitor receiving temperatures and log
    as required.
  3. Food items received are inspected, separated and damaged foods are discarded or
  4. Itemized supplier records are maintained onsite, so they are readily available?
  5. Food items are stored properly to protect from cross-contamination, in coolers, and
    food storage areas?
  6. Employees follow FIFO food rotation when new product is received?
  7. All food contact surfaces are properly sanitized between uses; including dishes and
    utensils, food prep tables and preparation sinks.
  8. Proper scoops are available for service of ice and food, and they are stored
Finding site issues is good. Fixing them is better.

Food Protection

  1. Thermometers are calibrated on a regular basis according to manufacturer’s
  2. Fridges are neat and clean?
  3. All fridges maintain a temperature of or below 40 °F?
  4. Foods outside the fridge are not stored in direct sunlight?
  5. Are foods stored in original packaging or commercial grade air-tight containers?
  6. Food is properly thawed according to health and safety guidelines?
  7. Final cooked temperatures of menu items are monitored and recorded as required?
  8. All hot holding temperatures are maintained, monitored and recorded as required?
  9. Cold holding temperatures are maintained, monitored and recorded as required?
  10. Regular inventory date checks are performed?
  11. What was the date of the last inventory date check?
  12. Potentially hazardous food items are properly date marked and disposed of if date
    has expired?

Chemical Storage

  1. All toxic chemicals are properly labeled?
  2. Are all chemicals stored in a designated area to prevent cross-contamination of food products and equipment?
  3. Sanitizer effectiveness has been tested or monitored and recorded on logs as
  4. Employees are properly trained on the proper use and storage of chemicals?
  5. MSDS chemical information is available?
Checklist app for retail and hospitality

Food Preparation Facilities

  1. All physical facilities are clean and maintained?
  2. Utensils are always sterilized prior to use?
  3. Food surfaces are always cleaned and sterilized prior to use?
  4. Is food equipment always cleaned and sterilized prior to use?
  5.  Safe potable water supply is available and protected from back-flow or back
  6. Hot and cold water is available at all locations in the facility?
  7. Measures in place to deter insects, rodents or animals?
  8. Dried good stored at least 6″ off the floor, and 18″ from outer walls?
  9. Unauthorized persons are restricted from food preparation and storage areas?


Refer to the Food Service and Restaurants category for checklists, how-tos and best practices for food service and restaurants.


Refer to the Health and Safety category for checklists, how-tos and best practices for health and safety.


If you are looking for checklists to manage your operations and brand standards, you have two options.

  1. Register for a free trial of Bindy and get access to a library of professionally vetted public forms you can use to audit your locations in seconds.
  2. Refer to our checklists category of more than 33 checklists to manage every aspect of your operations.

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