Retail Food Safety Audits/Reviews for Supermarkets/Grocery Stores


In today’s competitive supermarket and grocery store environment, third-party food safety audits/reviews play a major role in retail brand protection and service consistency. Routine audits can establish benchmarks, identify areas needing improvement and help ensure regulatory compliance.

We believe a food safety review should provide long-term improvement of an operation’s food safety performance, so we don’t have a “check-box mentality.” Our reviewers’ robust technical competence enables us to go beyond the basics to identify deeper underlying issues and root causes. We then work collaboratively to develop solutions.

To learn more about NSF’s audit programs for retail food establishments, contact us at +86 21 52377700 or

Benefits of Audits/Reviews

Our food safety reviews deliver value-added assistance to meet regulatory requirements and improve food safety systems well beyond regulation to ensure food safety quality and consistency.

We can conduct the review using standard criteria or a customized set of criteria focused on your specific areas of concern. Whichever you choose, your NSF retail safety review criteria will include:

  • HACCP verification
  • Sanitation, housekeeping and hygiene
  • Regulatory compliance - FDA Food Code
  • Temperature controls
  • Allergen management
  • Ingredient/menu detail/labeling
  • Hand hygiene
  • Recordkeeping
  • Quality of food supplies
  • Cook time/temperatures
  • Food storage, proper rotation and date marking
  • Food identification/labeling
  • Staff training
  • Food defense
  • Rodent and pest control management
  •  Building management - garbage/refuse, ventilation, lighting and plumbing (hot and cold water availability, water pressure, toilet facilities, etc.)

Our services can be customized to include occupational health and safety (OSHA), risk management, brand protection and customer perception (“mystery shop”), as each area indirectly affects food safety performance. Measuring all of these areas gives your company an outside perspective of complete operational performance.

Why Work With NSF?

NSF has worked diligently to build a network of the most technically competent and highest qualified reviewers in the food industry. Coming from strong food safety, retail food and foodservice backgrounds, our reviewers bring a wealth of technical expertise and knowledge in support of our global retail clients.

Our public health mission is what separates us from other firms. We use our unique industry know-how to bring intelligent thought and a consultative approach to our third-party reviews. We appreciate the importance of understanding our clients’ goals and helping them to achieve them. Our focus is to gain an accurate and insightful overview of each unit’s operational practices and then work to explain, coach and improve practices.

Professional Expertise

At NSF, we employ a best-in-class system of hiring, training/onboarding and calibrating our retail audit reviewer team. Our personnel calibration program is the industry’s best, placing great emphasis on continual training, implementation of best practices, client communication and global consistency. Whether your food safety review takes place around the corner or around the globe, we use the same tools to provide you an accurate assessment of service consistency on a global scale.

Our auditors are required to have at least bachelor’s degrees in food science or a related area, and must obtain a Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) credential. Our auditors, who are mostly full-time NSF employees, bring a wealth of technical expertise and knowledge in support of our clients.

Understanding that reviews/audits play a vital role in protecting the safety of the food you serve as well as your brand image, we are continually improving our staff recruitment, training and calibration practices.

NSF Online

Our customers have access to our proprietary Web-based and customizable data management system, NSF Online. This fully integrated and customizable software utilizes the most up-to-date technological advances on a secure encrypted system to provide 24/7 access to your food safety review information in real-time.

Some benefits of NSF Online include:

  1. An interactive dashboard highlighting all key information
  2. System-wide summarized reporting, enabling management to see details of food safety reviews performed and scheduled, KPIs and trends, along with accounting information
  3. Data management, trending and download features
  4. A corrective action program, which allows management to view the corrective action plans submitted by unit managers. This offers you an integrated corrective action plan that demonstrates accountability and contributes to sustainable, long term improvements.
  5. Permission-based hierarchy access, so staff at different levels can be granted access to varying levels of information, management reports, etc.


With over 70 years of food safety expertise and a solid reputation as a public health focused, science-based, collaborative organization, NSF is the best choice as your food safety reviewer. We place high priority on integrity, because we know that our services directly impact your reputation.

Due to increased consumer awareness and technology advances that quickly identify sources of foodborne illness, many companies are jumping on the food safety auditing bandwagon. But with your company’s reputation on the line with each item served, don’t trust your brand to an inexperienced firm.