Top 10 Most Common Hygiene Audit Findings and Solutions

Hygiene audits are crucial for maintaining food safety standards in commercial kitchens. These audits help identify potential issues and areas of improvement to ensure compliance with hygiene regulations.

This article will explore common hygiene audit findings and provide effective solutions to address them. By addressing these issues, food businesses can enhance cleanliness, maintain proper food storage practices, promote hand hygiene, and uphold traceability records, resulting in a safer and more hygienic kitchen environment.

1. General Cleanliness of the Kitchen Area

Audit Finding: Insufficient cleanliness in the kitchen, including dirty surfaces, equipment, utensils, floors, walls and ceilings.

Solution: Implement a robust cleaning schedule and ensure that all kitchen areas are regularly cleaned and sanitised. Train staff on proper cleaning techniques and provide them with appropriate cleaning agents. Conduct regular inspections to monitor cleanliness levels and address any issues promptly.

2. Cleaning and Sanitising of Food Contact Surfaces

Audit Finding: Food contact surfaces are not properly washed and sanitised. The norm in many food-handling establishments is to only quickly wipe the surfaces with a cloth. This is insufficient, increasing the risk of cross-contamination.

Solution: Develop a comprehensive cleaning protocol that emphasises thorough washing and sanitising of food contact surfaces after each use. It is also important to train staff on proper cleaning techniques, including the use of appropriate sanitisers. Implement regular inspections to ensure compliance with cleaning procedures.

3. Keeping Expired Stock

Audit Finding: Failure to monitor and remove expired or spoiled food items from storage areas.

Solution: Establish a strict inventory management system to track expiration dates. Regularly inspect stock and remove any expired or spoiled products promptly. Train staff on proper stock rotation techniques to ensure that older items are used first.

4. Inadequate Food Temperature Control

Audit Finding: Inadequate temperature control for food items, leading to potential bacterial growth.

Solution: Implement a robust temperature control system, including regular monitoring and recording of food temperatures. Train staff on proper food handling procedures and emphasise the importance of adhering to temperature requirements. Regularly calibrate thermometers and ensure that refrigeration units are functioning correctly.

5. Insufficient Temperature Recording

Audit Finding: Failure to consistently record temperatures of refrigeration units, hot holding equipment, and cooked food.

Solution: Implement a temperature monitoring system which includes regular temperature checks and accurate record-keeping. Train staff on the importance of temperature recording and provide them with appropriate tools such as thermometers and log sheets. Conduct regular reviews of temperature records to identify any discrepancies or trends.

6. Improper Food Product Storage

Audit Finding: Food items stored improperly, leading to cross-contamination and compromised food safety.

Solution: Establish clear guidelines for food storage, including the separation of raw and cooked foods. Use proper storage containers and labels to avoid confusion. Train staff on correct storage practices, including FIFO (first in, first out) rotation. Regularly inspect storage areas to ensure compliance.

7. Dirty Food Storage Areas

Audit Finding: Unsanitary conditions in food storage areas, including dirt, dust, and pests.

Solution: Implement a strict cleaning regimen for food storage areas, including regular deep cleaning and pest control measures. Store food items in sealed containers to prevent contamination. Conduct regular inspections to identify and address any cleanliness issues promptly.

8. Insufficient Handwashing After Entering the Kitchen

Audit Finding: Failure of kitchen staff to practice proper hand hygiene upon entering the kitchen.

Solution: Emphasise the importance of hand hygiene through regular training sessions. Install handwashing stations at convenient locations within the kitchen. Display clear signage reminding staff to wash their hands properly and regularly. Lead by example as a manager or owner by consistently following proper handwashing protocols.

9. The Absence of Traceability Records for Incoming Raw Materials

Audit Finding: Lack of proper documentation and traceability records for incoming raw materials.

Solution: Establish a traceability system that includes recording information such as supplier details, batch numbers, and expiry dates for all incoming raw materials. Maintain organised records that are easily accessible during audits. Regularly review and update these records as necessary.

10. Not Conducting Regular Environmental Monitoring

Audit Finding: Lack of environmental monitoring for pathogens and indicator organisms in the kitchen.

Solution: Implement an environmental monitoring program that includes regular sampling and testing for pathogens and indicator organisms. Work with a reputable laboratory to analyse samples and provide insights into potential risks. Use the results to identify areas for improvement and take necessary corrective actions.


Addressing common hygiene audit findings is crucial for maintaining food safety standards in commercial kitchens.

Food businesses can avoid unnecessary findings by implementing effective solutions such as establishing rigorous cleaning schedules, adhering to proper food storage practices, promoting hand hygiene, maintaining traceability records, recording temperatures consistently, conducting environmental monitoring, and emphasizing thorough washing of food contact surfaces.

Food business owners can create a safer and more hygienic environment for staff and customers. Remember, continuous monitoring, training, and adherence to best practices are key to ensuring ongoing compliance with hygiene regulations and safeguarding public health.

Consider partnering with a qualified auditor to ensure your food handling practices meet the highest standards.

Have you ever conducted a hygiene audit for your business? Let us know in the comments section below.

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