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Preparing for a Hygiene Audit: 10 Tips for Food Business Owners and Managers

Hygiene audits are critical for ensuring food safety and protecting consumers from foodborne illnesses. Preparing for a hygiene audit can be daunting for food business owners and managers. However, with the right approach, you can ensure that your business complies with hygiene regulations and is ready for your next inspection. Let’s discuss ten time-saving tips that help food business owners and managers prepare for a hygiene audit.

1. Conduct a Self-Audit

Before the actual hygiene audit, it is important to conduct a self-audit to identify potential issues and non-compliant areas. This will allow you to address these issues before the audit, reducing the risk of non-compliance.

It is highly recommended to review your food safety plan, cleaning and sanitation procedures, and employee hygiene practices during the self-audit. Develop an action plan to rectify non-compliant areas or issues and ensure they are resolved before the actual audit.

2. Train Your Staff

Your employees play a crucial role in maintaining food safety and complying with hygiene regulations. Ensure that they are adequately trained in food safety practices, personal hygiene, and cleaning procedures.

Emphasise the importance of compliance with hygiene regulations and provide regular training sessions to reinforce these practices.

3. Keep Accurate Records

Maintaining accurate records is crucial for demonstrating compliance with hygiene regulations. Keep records of cleaning schedules, temperature logs, pest control measures, and employee training. Ensure that these records are up-to-date and easily accessible during the hygiene audit.

4. Comply With Regulatory Requirements

Comply with regulatory requirements such as the basic hygiene requirements for premises, for example, Regulations R638. These regulations already cover a large proportion of good kitchen hygiene requirements.

For example, the duties of the persons in charge of food premises and the duties of food handlers are clearly outlined in these regulations. In addition, basic Good Food Handling practices such as pest control, cleaning, housekeeping, personal hygiene and many others are already included.

5. Engage with a Professional Food Safety Consultant

Engaging with a professional food safety consultant such as ASC Public Health & Food Safety Consulting firm can help you prepare for the hygiene audit and ensure that your business is compliant with hygiene regulations.

A food safety consultant can provide valuable insights into industry best practices, identify potential issues, and provide customised solutions that meet your specific business needs.

6. Review and Update Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Regularly review and update your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to align with current hygiene regulations and industry best practices. Ensure that your SOPs cover all aspects of food safety, including food handling, storage, cleaning, and sanitation procedures.

7. Implement Good Hygiene Practices

Good hygiene practices are essential for maintaining cleanliness, preventing the spread of diseases, and ensuring the safety of individuals. These include –

  • hand hygiene,
  • personal hygiene,
  • respiratory hygiene,
  • daily food waste removal from the kitchen,
  • wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),
  • keeping the work area clean,
  • keeping raw and cooked foods separate to prevent cross-contamination,
  • storing food at proper temperatures to inhibit bacterial growth,
  • refrigerating perishable items promptly,
  • thoroughly cooking food to kill harmful bacteria and ensure its safety for consumption.

8. Conduct Environmental Monitoring

It is recommended to perform laboratory tests for the possible presence of spoilage, pathogens and indicator organisms. One of the key requirements of hygiene audits is environmental monitoring to verify the cleanliness of the facility, identify potential risk areas that could result in food poisoning and also determine if there are any possible contaminants in the environment.

9. Maintain Good Supplier Relationships

Regularly communicate and collaborate with your suppliers to ensure they also adhere to proper hygiene practices. Request documentation such as certificates of analysis, allergen information, and traceability records to demonstrate that your suppliers meet the required standards.

10. Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Encourage a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation by regularly reviewing and evaluating your food safety practices. Encourage employee feedback and actively seek opportunities to enhance your processes and procedures.


Conclusion

Remember, hygiene audits are not just about meeting regulatory requirements; they are crucial for safeguarding public health and ensuring the reputation and success of your food business. By following these additional tips, you can better prepare for a hygiene audit and demonstrate your commitment to maintaining high food safety standards.

Please drop us a comment in the comment section below if you have any questions or need assistance with your hygiene audits. We love to hear from our website visitors.

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