The quickest way to send your reputation spiraling downward is to get flagged for sanitation issues during an audit.

To avoid an audit failure, take time to address every step in your sanitation program. If you want confidence going into your next audit or inspection, start by tightening up your own self evaluations. Here’s where to start:

Review Training Materials

To have the best employees doing the job, you need the proper materials for training them. Make sure materials are up to date and translated into a language that every team member will fully understand. In addition to reviewing the training materials with company stakeholders and management, review them routinely with your sanitation crew as well. Go over sanitation pain points so employees are prepared to do their jobs. PSSI, North America’s number-one contract sanitation company, prioritizes universal training for its team members to increase operational efficiencies.

Inspect Labels

Make sure that every chemical in the plant is labeled and that Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and Technical Data Sheets (TDS) from the manufacturer are on file. Every container should be tagged identifying the product or product mixture that it contains. Any chemical that isn’t labeled creates a worker and food safety risk, because its contents could be used incorrectly. Paying attention to labels is also a great way to maintain a high level of organization and be prepared for formal audits. PSSI uses a chemical color-coding strategy so that every plant is compliant with standards.

Routinely Test Water

Because water hardness can impact chemical mixing, water needs to be tested at least annually. It’s important to have thorough knowledge of your facility water chemistry; that way the best chemicals can be selected for maximum cleaning and minimum risk for damage to equipment.  Packers Chemical, Inc. provides comprehensive water testing, a full range of sanitation chemicals and supplies, as well as expert technical support for your chemical needs.  Also make a note to test water anytime your municipality makes changes to its water supply.

Audit Your Safety Gear

To foster an environment focused on safety, ensure eyewash stations and showers are functioning properly. Review employee personal protective equipment, like boots and gloves, to make sure there are no cracks that would cause harmful exposure or slip-fall hazards. Make sure your sanitation crews are fully prepared to safely do their jobs.

Identify Critical Inspection Points

Make a list of the places in your plant that workers could easily gloss over and regularly inspect these areas. These include drains, mounted equipment, floors and other cracks and crevices. Test for microbial activity and monitor employees during sanitation. PSSI helps plants identify critical inspection points and focuses on them during each sanitation shift.

In an industry with increasing pressure from regulatory, customer and third-party inspections, sanitation expertise can smooth the audit experience. To connect with the experts in contract sanitation, visit