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Third Party Food Safety Audit

A food safety audit is independent to your public health inspector visits. 


A food safety audit is an excellent practice to ensure:

  • Your business meets Public Health requirements and 

  • customer safety needs

  • Your operation is properly implemented by staff

  • Your procedures protect your customers

Food Safety Audit – Benefits


You’ve built your customer experience around great food. When placing food safety

as a low priority, you risk all that you have worked hard to gain. Food safety is at the

heart of customer experience.


With all the news reports on outbreaks, food safety violations are top of mind with your customers. Consumers don’t hesitate to share their experiences. A single negative food safety incident can pose serious risks to your bottom line and your good name. Here are some good reasons to do a food safety audit:

  • When your health inspector visits, they may not spend the time to look at all aspects of your operation. This leaves many areas vulnerable for troublesome issues to develop.

  • Third Party Food Safety Audits are a tool. They bring to light areas that may be vulnerable in serving, preparing, and storing food in your operation.

  • Food safety Audits ensure that you are in control of your food safety hazards.

  • Third party food safety audits also promote continual improvement. They identify areas of weakness in your business.

  • The goal is to minimize, control and reduce contamination. And, to ensure protection in spreading foodbourne illness, possibly leading to an outbreak.

Food Safety Audit – Cost

It is recommended that an audit be done every quarter. The size of your operation and risk factors determine the cost of your audit. An audit should be performed at least 90 days of anticipated health inspection. And at least one more time thereafter to ensure corrective actions are implemented.

The following are the factors taken into consideration to assess

the risk of your operation, outlined by the Toronto Public Health



High Risk


Minimum inspections: three times per year


Any eating or drinking establishments that prepare food and meet at

least one of the following criteria:

  • Serve a high risk population

  • Use processes involving many preparation steps and hazardous foods

  • frequently implicated as the cause of foodbourne illness

  • Implicated or confirmed as a source of foodbourne illness/outbreak


Moderate Risk


Minimum inspections: two times per year

Any eating or drinking establishments that meet one or more of the

following criteria:

  • Prepare hazardous food without meeting the criteria for high risk

  • Prepare non-hazardous foods with extensive handling or high volume


Low Risk


Minimum inspections: one time per year

Any eating or drinking establishments that do not prepare hazardous

food and meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Serve pre-packaged hazardous foods
  • Prepare and/or serve non-hazardous foods without meeting the
  • criteria for moderate risk

  • Are used as a food storage facility for non-hazardous foods only

  • Public health concerns related primarily to sanitation and maintenance


Please fill out the form at the bottom of the page to obtain information on 

pricing for your business.

Food Safety Audit – Plan


Together we decide dates or perhaps unannounced food safety audit visits.

The estimated time required for the food safety audit is between 2 and 3 hours.

We concentrate specifically on the 8 areas to pass the

Toronto Public Health Inspector’s visit.


These are the areas of the food safety audit that are addressed (not limited to): 


Employee Hygiene
Dish Washing (manual and machine)
Equipment Cleaning
Choosing Suppliers
Receiving Procedures
Supplier Information Reports
Receiving Logs
Pest Control and Waste Management
Food Production Safety
Daily Storage/Holding Temperatures
Time and Temperature Controls
Holding Temperatures (hot and cold)
Allergy Awareness
Food Safety Training (food handler certification etc.) 

Food Safety Audit – Staff Preparation


It is important to prepare your employees for the food safety audit. Employees, and other people who affect food safety in your operation, may be observed or interviewed by the auditor. Remind them the importance of their roles in the food safety audit process.

If interviewed, employees may be asked questions about:

  • Their roles and duties, and their impact on food safety

  • Critical limits, monitoring procedures and deviation procedures

  • Records they complete

  • Where to find information they need


Ask all employees to:

  • Review their food safety responsibilities (Geometrix supplies a hand out for employees on the 8 steps to pass the inspection)

  • Answer questions openly and honestly

  • Co-operate fully with the auditor

  • Employees may be asked to take initiative to correct issues right away.

Food Safety Audit – Process


Throughout the process, the auditor will make note of their findings and document any observations and areas for change. Audits may follow these steps:

  • The auditor might ask for you to familiarize them with your operation.

  • A contact person is appointed to accompany the auditor.

Food Safety Audit – Observations


The auditor observes working conditions, staff performing their tasks and how records are kept. A staff member walks through the operation with the auditor.

The auditor gathers objective evidence by checking:

  • Design, construction and maintenance of your facility

  • Assessment of the flow of food

  • Employees are trained to follow policies and procedures

  • Monitoring records are complete

  • The appropriate corrective actions are implemented

Food Safety Audit – Findings


The results of the audit are shared. Checklists with comments of audit findings,

observations, and corrective action requests are outlined. Corrective action may

be performed during the auditor’s on-site visit. Suggestions are shared for corrective

action and improvement.

Fill out the form below for answers to your questions about a food safety audit.

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