What Quality Controls do You Have in Your Bakery?

The oven is one critical control point for quality.

The oven is one critical control point for quality.

Looking around the production floor of a bakery, there are many areas we can increase safety and quality for our products. Recent recalls for raw materials such as flour containing E. coli in both the US and Canada have been making headlines recently.

As bakers, we know our ovens provide a kill step against pathogens.2,3  Quality check points for raw materials, employee training, allergen controls, and finished product analysis can reduce the risk of product recalls and ensure a safe and consistent finished product.

Here are our top tips for bakery quality and safety:

1. Quality check points for incoming raw materials.

  • Magnets at the flour silo to remove metal objects in flour,
  • Flour Screens for flour going into the mixer to remove foreign (non-metal) objects.
  • Infestation or pest control checks on incoming bagged ingredients,
  • X-ray sorting system for mixed seeds and grain blends
  • Recording lot numbers of raw ingredients on every batch mixing sheet.

2.  Training for employees on getting injured on the job.

3.  Using brightly colored gloves for different departments or allergens.

4.  Final metal detection after the packaging process.

5.  Trained QA personnel to watch for food safety issues.

Making it work

Regular training and updates for all staff will remind employees that safety and quality are part of the job. Bakeries with quality controls can improve product quality, drive business performance and supply chain efficiency and compliance with legislative requirements.1

Product specifications and standard operating procedures (SOPs) should be implemented and understood by all employees. No matter the size of your bakery it is never too soon to implement quality control points that reduces the need for a recall.


  1. Manning, L., R.N. Baines, and S.A. Chadd. “Quality assurance models in the food supply chain.” British Food Journal 108.2 (2006): 91-104.
  2. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Outbreaks – FDA Investigated Multistate Outbreak of Shiga Toxin-producing E. Coli Infections Linked to Flour.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 29 Sept. 2016. www.fda.gov/food/recallsoutbreaksemergencies/outbreaks/ucm504192.htm Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.
  3. “Various Brands of Flour and Flour Products Recalled Due to E. Coli O121.” Government of Canada. Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 17 Apr. 2017.  www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/newsroom/food-recall-warnings/complete-listing/2017-04-16/eng/1492408217395/1492408220892. Accessed 19 Apr. 2017.

About the Author:

Katie Jones
Katie is an innovator, organoleptic guru and food geek with over a decade of experience in the food industry. She created new product categories while working as a Food Technologist in the Organic/ Natural food industry. Her curiosity led her to the study of Sensory Science where Katie developed a sensory program to suit the specific needs of non-traditional food products. She has a passion for bridging the technical language of food science with the art of down-home baking.


  1. primrose August 27, 2018 at 5:49 am - Reply

    Good afternoon, please i want to write a standard operating procedure for production of bread

    • Ana Rinck
      Ana Rinck September 12, 2018 at 12:29 pm - Reply

      You can start here with our Dough Systems E-book. Please be sure to determine your fermentation systems before you go into production.

  2. Alfred Henriquez September 20, 2018 at 1:34 am - Reply

    We are planning a bakery in the local prison.
    Are there procedures to check for malign chemicals introduced by inmates

    • Ana Rinck
      Ana Rinck October 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      We recommend you follow a HACCP Plan for Bakeries and we highly recommend AIB to come down and audit your process for food safety.

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