One of the biggest and most prominent challenges within the foodservice and retail industries today is food safety. Every day, foodborne illnesses cause one in 10 people to fall sick and cause 420,000 deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Food product recalls continue to be on the rise and cost the economy billions of dollars each year. In fact, there were 2,771 cases just in the U.S. in 2016.
Thankfully, food contamination is preventable and governments are beginning to adopt more stringent food safety regulations and sanctions. In order to exceed compliance, maintain a positive brand image and win customers’ trust, food businesses must adapt and keep food safety management up to date. Today, innovative technology, tools and services can help.
Make sure the following essentials are included in your food safety toolbox:
- Digital food safety management solutions: Digital food safety solutions can help monitor food during key stages like transportation, preparation and service. Digitalization allows for greater flexibility and reliability. For example, with paper checklists now digitized, food businesses have easy, 24/7 access to the most up to date information. Digital solutions enable email or text alerts to notify employees when issues arise. Finally, digital tools help build a food safety culture, and can more easily be learned and embraced by employees, even in industries with high turnover or language barriers.
- Temperature monitoring solutions: Sensor technology within critical kitchen equipment, like refrigerators and freezers, can provide static temperature monitoring to comply with defined thresholds or take real-time corrective actions in case of deviation. Now, businesses can prevent risks that may impact the lifespan and safety of food, avoid loss of high value stock and contribute to food waste reduction.
- Expert auditing: With Diversey Consulting, restaurants can rely on a trustworthy auditing team that has years of experience and takes a coaching approach to food safety. While helpful, today’s technologies, from Internet of Things-connected solutions to virtual reality training platforms, still cannot match an onsite audit conducted by an expert.
- Trusted laboratory analysis: Preventing foodborne illnesses requires frequent analysis of food, tools and sanitation methods. Having a sampling program in place and deviation alerts from set thresholds to speed up response times increases food safety from farm to fork.
- Hand hygiene compliance: Keeping track of employee hand hygiene throughout a busy dinner rush isn’t simple, and without easy-to-access and reliable sanitizing stations, food can become contaminated and cause an outbreak. Diversey’s IntelliCare™ dispensers offer full hand hygiene compliance by tracking real-time data and providing updates and alerts when product or battery runs low.
- In-store traceability solutions: Inventory management is key to maintaining food safety. In-store traceability is an emerging concept that allows businesses to view operations by department or product category and gather data in order to manage inventory and reduce food waste and potential safety issues.
- Digital training: Employees come and go frequently within the industry, so it’s important to have regular training sessions to teach new and existing employees about food safety protocols, regulations, updates and other important information. Digital training platforms provide user-friendly programs for employees who speak different languages and allow managers to easily track compliance.
- Secure library: Updating your food safety toolbox means having a centralized library that can store manuals, procedures, HACCP regulatory documents, inspection reports and more to ensure a restaurant is ready for any eventuality.
Today, consumers demand more transparency to know about the food they eat. Every detail matters when it comes to food safety, and each point informs another. So, a structured, connected answer to food safety management would not only help you meet compliance, it would take you way beyond. Learn more about Diversey’s food safety solutions here.