Health and Safety Checklist: The Ultimate Guide for Hospitality

Our comprehensive health and safety checklist for the hospitality industry will help you ensure the safety of your guests and staff. Covering everything from food hygiene to fire safety, our guide includes all the key areas that restaurants, hotels and other food businesses need to stay safe and compliant. Read now to get started
Joe Cripps
Jan 2024
4 min read

Would you feel confident if an EHO walked in right now? Do you have the records to prove you’re compliant? Not sure where to start?

Don’t fret; we’re here to help. This health and safety checklist guide will help you stay compliant and protect your team, customers and business.

Take the next step by setting up a readymade checklist in a simple, secure online environment through the Trail app

What is a health and safety checklist?

A health and safety checklist is a tool used to reinforce best practices and help you comply with safety regulations. Performing regular inspections using safety checklist templates prevents accidents at work, and will help protect your business during an EHO inspection.

EHO inspections do not need to be scheduled in advance, so a robust health and safety compliance process will ensure that you are always prepared. A good checklist will ensure that employees are always aware of their responsibilities. If you go one step further with a digital health and safety checklist, you will also be able to maintain a record over time to demonstrate your commitment to the best possible standards for your staff and customers.

Discover more ways Trail can help your business stay compliant.

What should your checklist cover?

Your health and safety checklist needs to cover the following:

  1. Opening checks - unlocking exit doors, looking for evidence of pests
  2. Ensuring staff are fit for work
  3. Hazard evaluation
  4. Adequate ventilation
  5. Health and safety poster displayed
  6. Fire evacuation procedure displayed
  7. Sink and water checks
  8. Allergen separation
  9. Fridge and freezer temperature checks
  10. Check the first aid box
  11. Closing checks - storing food safely, turning electrical equipment off
  12. Cleaning tasks

To see how Trail can help you get started with ready-made, digital checklists, visit our health and safety template library.

Should you run your own health and safety audits?

Running a health and safety audit helps you identify risks and assess whether your procedures are legally compliant.

Health and safety audits involve:

  • Hazard identification
  • Staff training
  • Working out where your strengths and weaknesses are
  • Recommending improvements

After the risk assessment, you'll know what needs to be improved and which measures to put in place.

Managing food hygiene guide

How to ensure health and safety compliance

A good health and safety compliance checklist should be thorough, covering a wide range of issues, from hazards to hygiene.

Every food-serving business – including bars, hotels and cafés, not just restaurants – needs to show compliance with hygiene standards during an EHO inspection in order to achieve a good food hygiene rating. If your business is not compliant, consequences could involve anything from the issue of a hygiene improvement notice to prosecution in the worst cases.

Ensure you’re EHO compliant with the following:

Maintenance checks

It’s essential to cover everything from inspection to repairs, every day. And to fill out a maintenance log, so managers know what’s going on.

Your main considerations should include hazard identification, equipment checks and inspecting the working environment.

Examples of common hazards:

  • Trip hazards – cables on the floor, loose or damaged flooring, steps etc.
  • Broken equipment –  machinery, appliances, tools etc.
  • Hazardous materials
  • Exposed wiring

Food safety checks

From allergens to sell-by dates, food can pose many health and safety risks. Avoid this by:

  • Labelling food with correct dates
  • Covering chilled food
  • Discarding out of date food
  • Filling out a food temperature log sheet
  • Ensuring food isn’t cross-contaminated
  • Checking food deliveries thoroughly
  • Storing food properly

Our team has prepared handy food safety task templates you can assign to your team or carry out yourself to ensure food safety is of highest standards.

Opening/closing procedures

Check everything is running as it should be, both at open and close.

Opening checks

Whatever time you open, some things need actioning:

  1. Fridge temperature checks
  2. Are the staff fit for work?
  3. Check for hazards
  4. Check for pests
  5. Check water
  6. Exit doors unlocked
  7. Safety information displayed
  8. Check working environment, e.g. ventilation, temperature etc.
  9. Toilet checks

Create your kitchen opening & closing checklist with Trail.

Closing checks

Whoever runs the restaurant and bar closing checks is responsible for following the procedures correctly, from cleaning checks to wastage reports.

No unnecessary electrical equipment should be running and no taps left on. This might seem obvious, but without checking, it's easy to forget something, leaving your business unprotected.

How to deal with exceptions

Record keeping is a vital tool in your armoury:

Health and safety checklist template

You don’t have to rely on your own memory alone to stay compliant. A digital health and safety checklist template will give you a comprehensive starting point for compliance. By starting with a template, you know the basics will be covered, and you can customise as needed for your business’s unique needs.  

Digital templates are particularly easy to maintain. They leave a secure, historical record and won’t get lost in busy kitchens.

Check out our health and safety checklist templates to get started. Put our food, health and safety templates to test with a 14-day free trial, sign up today!

Keep all of your checklists in one place

Compliance is only half of the story. With so much to do each day, how do you know if/when the right checks have been carried out and appropriate action taken?

Scribbling numbers onto paper and spreadsheets can make it hard to keep track of what has actually been done.

Trail is a simple app that replaces your existing paper checks, from health & safety to food hygiene to opening checks.

We’ve created a library of templates including cleaning and compliance tasks so you can be sure you're operating as safely as possible.  

Health and safety checklist app

What customers are saying

"I f****** love Trail, it's taking my businesses to the next level."
Josh Paterson
"We rarely provide training to our guys, they just bought into the idea straight away. I love that I have a full visual of everyone's activity in front of me."
Katrin Toots
Compliance Manager
“It’s not a paper diary that’s covered in barbecue sauce. We have clarity over what’s done in our sites and are confident going into our audits.”
Jay Brown
“The EHO visited almost every site last year and every store was given a five star rating."
Jay Brown
Operations Chef
"We turned our Costa Checks and various compliance forms into regular tasks on Trail, which has contributed to some of the best scores we have had."
Delroy Daniels
Operations Director
"Our teams love it, it gives our managers of all levels absolute clarity on what they need to achieve every day."
James Brown
Operations Director

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