Driven by Food Safety legislation, but equally concerned with the consumer experience and preserving brand value, Food Safety Monitoring (FSM) has evolved into a sophisticated tool for restaurants and retail outlets.
FSM ensures that potentially hazardous ingredients are identified and eliminated from products and meals, that procedures are actually followed and food safety compliance is adhered to.
The business benefit of FSM can be summarized in three E’s: Efficiency, Exactness and Economies of Scale. In today’s digital environments, including mobile and Internet of Things (IoT), traditional paper-based FSM can be turbocharged with advances in technology and a Food Safety Program.
There are just too many variables to account for. Complexity reigns in most food environments, which hinders productivity. Menu items constantly change, which means new ingredients and pre-assembled meal components enter the mix, each with their own compliance issues. How can staff possibly check every ingredient against every regulation (GFSI, SQF, BRC, FSSC 22000, IFS, Global GAP) between peak demand periods?
We have found that the deployment and adoption of FSM technology results in timesaving of as much as 60 percent when compared to maintaining error-prone paper-based logs. Consider also the time and cost of storing paper logs and retrieving information should you ever need it. As hourly pay rates rise, handling FSM through technology is an easy way to reduce the staff cost of compliance.
Accuracy is a must. If you are 98% sure the romaine lettuce is safe, that’s not very comforting. That 2% gap could be disastrous, with the potential to cause guest illness or injury, and significant brand erosion.
Think about your GMP policy and procedures, making sure allergenic materials are stored separately from non-allergenic materials. This can’t be enforced halfway.
Or the CCP principle of critical limits, which states the maximum or minimum value for the control measure to prevent, eliminate, or reduce the hazard to an acceptable level.
In addition to HACCP-compliance, the FSM data capture can be used for quality control, such as identifying food preparation where there has been undercooking or overcooking.
Economies of Scale
FSM Technology means you are now able to go beyond what is humanly possible, and support the magnitude and complexity of compliance.
The ability to scale FSM using technology is especially helpful for brands with multi-store, multi-state environments which encompass many jurisdictions, as well as international brands with locations in numerous countries, each with its own set of regulations.
A reliable system of record keeping means you will be able to prove and provide evidence that the food safety monitoring occurred. This thorough documentation must occur simultaneously at the store level and the macro corporate level, for audit compliance.
When documentation is done manually, it’s easy to for errors to arise, mistakes you cannot afford. Paper records can deteriorate over time, or pen marks become illegible, especially in areas around liquids or freezers.
With digital technology and your HACCP System, the compliance notes are preserved indefinitely. The monitoring forms easily copied and specific fields exported to a central documentation report.
Below are four key points to consider when thinking about designing your FSM program:
1. Does your FSM tool deliver a detailed, automated audit trail of who completed the action and when it was completed?
2. Does your FSM tool automatically capture the HCAPP data from the monitoring report and update it to the Cloud so you can see it consistently in real-time?
3. Do you have a single source (“one version of the truth”) for all information including missing checklists, non-observed items, top violations, violation details, checklist detail and a daily summary?
4. In real-time, can you customize, store, filter, and analyze all data logs?
PAR's SureCheck® solution is helping restaurants, grocery stores, and food distributors ensure they are meeting FDA regulated standards. This innovative device reassures that restaurants, grocery stores, and food distributors are in consistent compliance and eliminating procedural risks.