With consumers increasingly focused on health and environmentally-friendly business practises within foodservice industries across the globe, ensuring food is safe to consume is now more important than ever. Adhering to food safety regulations is essential to keep customers safe and to protect the business from the damage a food safety scandal can inflict on reputation and sales.
Trends & Challenges Worldwide
Foodservice industries worldwide are experiencing consumer and market driven changes. In the UK, millennials are likely to eat out less, potentially costing the industry £800m per year. In the US, environmentally-conscious customers are scrutinising business policies before deciding where to eat. Chinese consumers are demanding safer food after a series of publicised food safety scandals. India’s foodservice industry is benefitting from a growing working population but is facing a lack of qualified staff and high real estate costs. Lifestyle related diseases are a main concern in Southeast Asia and subsequently, consumers are increasingly demanding healthy food options.
Food Safety Regulations
In the UK and to some extend in the US, businesses are required to implement a food safety plan based on the hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) principles. This includes ensuring that food is always kept at the correct temperatures, which requires monitoring temperatures of refrigerators, freezers and hot food cabinets, and keeping records of the readings. Always storing chilled or hot food at the required temperatures is necessary to prevent pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses from growing.
Following HACCP principles is recommended in India, China and Southeast Asia. Even if it is not required, it pays to put a plan according to HACCP principles in place to keep customers safe as the following example illustrates.
Food Safety Scandals: Effects of Non-Compliance
In October 2015, 55 people became ill after consuming E. coli contaminated food at Chipotle restaurants in 11 US states. The growth of E. coli can be significantly slowed down or stopped when contaminated food is stored below 8°C. After the food safety scandal was widely publicised in the media, sales fell, customer trust decreased and the chain’s reputation was severely damaged.
Comparable sales were down 23.6% the second fiscal quarter of 2016, stock prices fell by 40% during the crisis and 60% of customers visited the restaurant less frequently. As these statistics illustrate, food safety compliance is essential to ensure consumer safety and to protect the business.
Solutions for Regulatory Compliance
RDM offers temperature and due diligence control solutions that help businesses comply with food safety laws and regulations. At the same time, they improve efficiency and reduce operating costs, an ideal combination in this challenging market.
Solutions for Takeaway Home Delivery Companies
Delivery companies are responsible for complying with food safety laws from the moment the food is picked up until it is delivered to the customer. If a customer falls ill or in case of an audit, the delivery company has be able to provide records to confirm that the food was kept at the correct temperature throughout the journey.
The Shuttle Temperature Logger from RDM can record and store temperature data on the go which can then be uploaded to a PC. Battery powered, it can be placed in any type of bag and can store more than 16,000 logs. It comes with desktop software for the storage and analysis of data, ensuring that the data will be available for demonstration when required.
Solutions for Restaurants & Food-to-go Outlets
In restaurants and food-to-go outlets, the temperatures in fridges, coldrooms and hot food cabinets need to be controlled and recorded to ensure regulatory compliance.
RDM’s Mercury controller can be used for controlling the temperature in refrigeration and hot food units. It offers high-quality and reliable case control to meet even the most demanding requirements. Additionally, built-in energy saving features help to reduce running costs for the restaurants.
If a coldroom is on site, RDM’s coldroom panels can be installed for accurate temperature regulation in both low and high temperature coldrooms.
To tie everything together, RDM’s DMTouch, a front-end control and monitoring system, can be installed to control and manage all refrigeration equipment and to store temperature records for over five years for regulatory compliance. Recording the data automatically removes all chances for human error that occur when temperatures are noted manually.
All refrigeration equipment can feed into the DMTouch, including third-party assets as the DMTouch is based on open protocols. Capturing data from the entire estate does not only ensure HACCP compliance, it also allows to analyse the trends and based on those improve operating efficiency, reducing energy and maintenance costs.
The DMTouch can also control and monitor any additional HVAC equipment on-site. This provides the option to have complete control and visibility over all HVACR assets, which allows to identify issues and optimise the running of all equipment, enabling further savings.
More Information on Compliance in the Foodservice Industry
Our whitepaper provides more extensive information on all aspects of this blog, including trends and challenges worldwide, food safety regulations and the impact of food safety scandals. Download your free copy here.
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