10 Must-Have Fields for Food and Beverage Processing Site Inspection Form Templates

In the food and beverage processing industry, companies need to perform regular inspections to maintain safe processes and environments. By taking the right steps and implementing various industry best practices, inspectors can adequately complete all safety inspections to maintain compliance and protect the company’s bottom line.

It’s important to understand what requirements are in place and how inspection forms can help meet them by incorporating the right fields.

Food and beverage processing companies must protect consumers from potentially contaminated food and create a safe environment for employees. To ensure food processors maintain consistently safe operations, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other governing bodies have put rules and regulations in place for these facilities. 

Since the Obama administration’s introduction of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, the FDA has mandated inspections of food and beverage processing facilities more frequently. The FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have many requirements that food and beverage processing plants must meet in accordance with the FSMA.

For example, these facilities should have USDA-approved antimicrobial flooring to help prevent the growth and spread of harmful bacteria. Equipment must also be generally sanitary, cleanable, non-toxic, and devoid of the risk of contaminating food items. 

As food and beverage processors work to meet these strict regulatory standards, it’s best to have forms that help conduct thorough inspections in these facilities. The key is knowing what kinds of fields to include in your inspection forms to ensure all equipment and systems are checked thoroughly.

To maintain consistent compliance with FDA, USDA, and other requirements, the following are some of the main types of fields to include in food and beverage processing inspection forms.

One of the most important fields to include in electronic inspection forms is an image field. This field enables inspecting employees to upload images of any potentially faulty equipment and machinery in the facility. Management can then determine the specific problem and take the necessary steps to issue maintenance as soon as possible.

Another crucial field to include is food safety, which will cover many items that your inspector can check. For example, this checklist would help ensure all food contained within the facility is from an approved source, that all food is devoid of contamination and spoilage, and that all equipment handling food remains at least 6 inches off the floor.

Additionally, this section can help determine whether all food storage containers are clean, properly labeled, and sufficiently sealed.

Your form should also include a temperature control field that indicates whether a facility’s temperature settings are safe. All potentially hazardous foods must be within a safe temperature range to avoid spoilage, thermometers must be accurate, and frozen foods must undergo a safe thawing method if necessary. 

This section will help gauge employees’ health and safety when handling food items. If employees are handling food, this field should require inspectors to see if employees exhibit any signs of illness or wounds that could lead to contamination. Employees must also wash their hands consistently and properly. This section will also check to ensure a supervisor is always on duty to monitor operations and that employees store their personal belongings in the designated safe area.

Your form should include sections for equipment and utensil checks to ensure the equipment is clean and in good shape. In addition, this part of the form requires checking for malfunctioning or nonfunctioning equipment, and facilitating repairs and replacements when necessary. Lastly, this area will ensure that all utensils go through proper cleaning and sterilization procedures using dishwashers and other equipment.

Your form will also benefit from a section covering water and sewage in your facility. For example, this section will help confirm whether sinks are functioning properly and at the right temperatures, and that plumbing systems are checked for cracks and other damage or wear. In addition, this section could cover grease traps, liquid waste lines, and cross-connection control devices.

All restrooms and corresponding facilities should be regularly cleaned and maintained. These facilities also require functioning handwashing sinks with paper towels and antibacterial hand soap. Wall-mounted toilet paper dispensers are another common requirement in these facilities.

Food processing facilities need proper ventilation and illumination. Functioning ventilation systems will maintain steady air quality, while proper lighting will maximize visibility in and around the facility. Shatterproof lights are a common feature of food processing facilities.

Yet another item to consider is refuse and trash disposal. Inspectors should check interior and exterior trash containers to determine whether they’re clean and functional. Trash containers also require proper sealing, with lids kept closed at all times when not in use.

An infestation is one of the biggest potential hazards in any food and beverage processing environment. Inspections must check for the presence of any rodents or insects such as cockroaches and flies. Facilities must also seal off food preparation and other areas from live animals such as birds. When using pesticides, staff must use approved chemicals correctly to avoid contaminating food items.

Having detailed forms for inspecting food and beverage processing facilities will help prevent potential issues from compromising your operations, employees, and end products. Knowing what fields to include will help you build a comprehensive checklist that inspectors can easily follow to help maintain compliance and resolve any existing issues. If you want to help building inspection checklists for your food and beverage processing operations, consider implementing GoCanvas inspection form templates. You can craft in-depth checklists for food and beverage processing, along with other types of forms based on your needs. Request a demo today or try GoCanvas for free to get started.

About GoCanvas

GoCanvas® is on a mission to simplify inspections and maximize compliance. Our intuitive platform takes care of the administrative tasks, freeing our customers to focus on what truly matters – safeguarding their people, protecting their equipment, and delivering exceptional quality to their customers. 

Since 2008, thousands of companies have chosen GoCanvas as their go-to partner for seamless field operations.

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