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Effective Checklists Verify Food Safety Compliance

Updated on July 2, 2017
All photos are for educational purposes only.
All photos are for educational purposes only.

Checklists Verify Compliance

Effective food safety managers consistently monitor and verify all production and performance measures. Food safety managers may consider enabling employees with quality control, quality assurance, and food safety duties with daily, detailed accountability checklists. Checklists should be specifically designed as employee task aids. Checklists should also educate and empower staff to fully understand their duties and responsibilities. Well-designed checklists clearly define staff tasks, assignments, and roles. Checklists can also function to: instruct about specific professional goals and missions; define routine performance monitoring measures; confirm protocol operational consistency; reduce poor implementation behaviors; and document managerial food safety practices.

Food safety managers should base their checklists on effective system design processes, protocols, and procedures. Optimal checklists verify design control measures at every stage of the production process, such as transportation of raw ingredients into the facility. Additionally, product washing, sorting, packaging, palletizing, storing, and shipping are steps which can be monitored with precisely fashioned and vigilantly-completed checklists.

Further, key elements of effective checklists include the date and time of the observations and declarations. Also, checklists should contain the specific performance metric observed, recorded, and reported. Each checklist should have adequate writing space for the employee’s direct surveillance examination, scrutiny, inspection, and detailed comments. Ideally, every checklist should be augmented with pictures of potential issues and areas of concern which can be reviewed by food safety and operational management.

Finally, the basis of effective risk minimization is the constant and effective monitoring of performance and documenting of all food production systems.


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