July 12, 2017 / By zip haccp / In Hubworks / Comments
“Basic Food Safety Solutions for Bustling Restaurants”
The Beginner’s Guide to Food Safety Compliance
A lot of time and effort goes into running a restaurant, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. However, food safety compliance should never take a backseat to anything else. Here are our best food safety solutions you can count on.
What do we mean by "Food Safety Solutions"?
Doing a quick internet search for the phrases “food safety compliance” or “food safety solutions” will produce pages upon pages of hard to understand articles, legal documents, and sometimes seemingly pointless personal blogs discussing the difficulties people are having with new laws or regulations. Many of them do not truly answer this important question. Often, it’s a long, dry list of legal terms and quoted laws, but nothing a busy manager or owner can read quickly and get an answer from. Half the time, you close the page without having learned anything useful, and your frustration increases. But it doesn’t have to be that way. It’s a simple question with a fairly straightforward answer!
Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless. Try it free for 30 days.
We know you’re busy, so we’re here to help demystify food safety solutions and to give you some truly helpful advice for your restaurant or food service business, all served up in a quick read and easy to understand format. Ready? Let’s dig in!
The basics of food safety compliance
Food safety compliance is just a fancy way of saying that you need to follow certain regulations regarding the storage, preparation and serving of food in your restaurant. Pretty simple, right? If you already have a food service business you probably already know what you need to do, but it’s always good to go over the basics again, just to be sure nothing has changed, or you haven’t forgotten anything. If you’re just starting out, this overview should be useful in getting you up to speed on bringing your new business to meet compliance quickly and painlessly. It’s also a good place to start when training new staff.
While each country and city will have their own rules regarding food services and restaurants, there are some items that are the same no matter where you’re setting up.
Storing food and supplies. Food and cleaning supplies should be kept in separate areas, and anyone moving between the two should follow all hand-washing and cross-contamination prevention practices. Raw meats, poultry, seafood, and eggs should be kept away from other food items, and they should be prepared in separate areas, too. Having appropriate refrigeration and dry storage is a must, so be sure to check local regulations regarding these aspects and acceptable food safety solutions.
Temperature matters. Storing, preparing, and serving foods at safe temperatures is an important aspect of food safety compliance. Frequent temperature checks and accurate logging are your best tools for success here. Training your staff on proper food safety solutions should be a top priority, as should providing the right tools to get the job done. Not only will an incorrect reading mean your restaurant is no longer in compliance, but you risk making your customers sick.
Keep records of everything. Staying in compliance with food safety regulations means you will need to keep impeccable, accurate, and provable logs of everything. That includes task checklists, food temperatures, stock ordering histories, employee records, and even corrective action logs. These logs show you’ve done your due diligence should you ever be inspected or audited. Don’t skimp here—poorly kept records can be a game-changer for an otherwise excellent restaurant. You don’t want to be shut down because your employees forgot to log the temperatures from your soup.
Cleaning. There are some pretty basic rules regarding cleaning that all food service establishments should follow, and depending on your area and local laws, you may have some additional ones, too. Basic food safety solutions include hand-washing procedures, kitchen, and food storage cleaning and sanitizing methods, and dining area clean. Don’t forget to clean up your dumpster area, too. Proper disposal of waste and recycling are important aspects of running a safe and clean restaurant. Keeping detailed procedures up to date with the latest in food safety regulations is your best tool to stay in compliance. Update your procedures as necessary, and be sure each staff member is aware of all potential food safety solutions.
Putting it all together
With all the regulations in place to keep food services and restaurants accountable for the health and safety of their customers, it can be confusing at first deciding how to handle so much information. Everything needs to be logged and tracked and kept for future audits. And every time a new law is passed or a new regulation is put in place, you will have to be ready to make quick changes to your business practices, and then be sure your employees are informed, too. Staying in compliance means keeping everything straight, but don’t panic just yet. There’s an easy way to do it all!
Keep track with the right software
The concept of food safety compliance is fairly straightforward, but it can be a bit daunting in practice. There is a lot of information you need to remember, a lot of regulations to follow, and you likely have a lot of employees you need to train and keep updated. The old way of food safety solutions was to track and log and report everything on paper, meaning managers had to spend ridiculous amounts of time combing through stacks of logbooks and loose papers, filing reports, and spending more time in the office than out on the floor. It was messy, frustrating, and a big waste of time and talents. That isn’t even taking into consideration the cost of all that paper and the cost to store or shred old files.
With mobile apps becoming more prevalent in everyday life, it was just a matter of time before someone came up with an efficient and affordable option for food safety compliance in a simple digital format. Zip HACCP is a one-stop app that covers every aspect of food safety compliance, including logging temperatures in real-time and listing corrective actions, as well as checklists for all types of procedures to keep your restaurant in compliance. Zip HACCP is an affordable, powerful food safety solution you can trust. Looking for more information? We’ve got some great resources here.