July 12, 2017 / By zip haccp / In Hubworks / Comments
“Food Safety Manager Tips | Keep Your Business on the FDA’s Good Side”
How using HACCP software enables effective food safety management
Today we examine some ways that Zip HACCP can help food safety managers solidify their management skills and perfect their ability to remain compliant with the FDA regulations.
Thanks for coming back to our series on our new app, Zip HACCP. This time, we’re going to take a look at the ways that Zip HACCP can help your food safety managers maintain full compliance with FDA and HACCP food safety regulations, specifically as a result of the major problems the app solves. Because of the nature of both the app and the food service industry as a whole, these may not be the be-all-end-all solutions for everyone. However, they most definitely offer quite a lot of help in that department and should be considered when attempting to improve your business’ compliance with the food safety regulations.
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What problems does Zip HACCP hope to solve?
As an app, Zip HACCP looks to solve some of the most basic, but important issues that confront food safety mangers in their businesses. In this section, we’ll talk a bit about what some of those problems are, and how Zip HACCP intends to offer solutions to them. It’s important to note, of course, that these solutions are contingent on staff being willing and able to follow through with them. So long as they are, they just might offer the saving grace your business needs, or the protection to ensure you never will.
The first major problem that you will likely encounter as food safety managers in regards to compliance is the cumbersome nature of holding employees accountable when everything is on paper. Checklists, work orders, temperature monitoring, you name it; when these tasks are completed exclusively on paper, the risk of them not being completed, or even being completed twice if someone doesn’t realize they’ve already been done, is very high. It’s a threat to productivity first and foremost, and just as much a threat to food safety management.
Solution: With Zip HACCP, everything is done in one program, accessible from some different devices, all sharing the same information source. Because of this, food safety managers and team members can see what has been done and still needs to be done and can do so in real time, as the app constantly updates itself. This does wonders for productivity, but also allows for the spotting of potential food safety concerns such that they can be responded to with far greater ease than ever before. The food safety managers can work with ease, and help to keep the business wholly compliant with FDA regulations.
Another major issue that food safety managers often encounter is consistency in safety management in the form of food temperature, both in storage and in preparation. It is essential that uncooked food is stored in an environment that meets certain temperature and sanitation requirements, as outlined by the FDA and your local health inspection office. This is something that is often difficult to monitor, especially when the business is closed and nobody is there to keep track of the thermometers. Should the power go out, for example, there would be no way to know whether the freezers and refrigerators are remaining within the acceptable temperature range. On the flip side, you have the issue of guaranteeing that food, specifically meat, is being cooked to the appropriate temperature as well. While manual food thermometers are plentiful, they are often not precise. Even digital ones, which are certainly a step up in precision, require constant monitoring by staff to ensure that the meat is cooked through on the inside without becoming burned on the outside and thus inedible.
Solution: How does Zip HACCP tackle this? We’ve discussed before the unique ability for the app to be linked with Bluetooth thermometers to monitor temperatures directly within the app itself. In previous articles, we’ve assessed this more as a useful tool for storage, but it can be just as vital in the process of preparing food. The cook can set the thermometer up, set their desired temperature in the app, and set up to receive an alert when it is approaching or has hit that temperature so they can do other things with the confidence that the meat won’t be overcooked. This is both great for food safety managers and staff, as it ensures healthy preparation, but can also help prevent food waste, such that things like steak or burgers are cooked the way the customer wants the first time.
What does this mean for food safety managers?
No doubt we’ve touched on this in the previous section, but to hammer it home, let’s take a look at one of the major themes touched on in that portion of the article: employees. Ultimately, all of what we’ve discussed falls to the wayside if your employees are not on board and willing to participate with the new system. Your employees must be as committed to food safety management as you are for any of the above to work, and sometimes that means vetting employees who don’t share in that commitment. Obviously, this is not an easy thing for any food safety managers to complete, nor should it be. That being said, use of Zip HACCP’s list features do allow for a certain degree of monitoring employee engagement when it comes to these basic maintenance tasks.
By being able to remotely assign tasks to certain employees, and then monitor their progress in completing those tasks, you will be able to see who completes what, and by extension how well the task is completed, all without needing to be on-site every day. Have the most effective food safety managers in town! This is a vital aspect of managing your workforce remotely, something we’ve devoted an entire blog post to, which you can read here. This post examines some of the major challenges associated with managing a group of employees that you don’t see face to face every day, which is something that becomes much more essential when an app like Zip HACCP is employed.
In the end, ensuring proper management as a food safety manager in your business is vital not only to its success but to its ability to remain in compliance with the FDA and HACCP food safety regulations that have been set forth. Zip HACCP is, for sure, a major step towards streamlining that management process, and may very well turn out to be one of the strongest business decisions you make for years to come.