Basic Tips for Managing Food Safety and Sanitation
How management apps can improve your food hygiene
This article examines how a restaurant management app, such as Zip HACCP, can help restaurants improve their levels of food safety and sanitation.
Food safety is a premier concern among both the FDA and among restaurateurs. This is for a good reason, as we've discussed before. Food safety and sanitation is the cornerstone of public confidence in the food service industry, and a lack of it would almost certainly spell disaster. It should come as no surprise that people enjoy being able to go out, eat a meal, and be certain that the food they're eating will not make them sick. As such, the burden is on the restaurants to guarantee proper handling of food and sanitation.
This burden can, admittedly, be a lot of work. It should be, given the amount of impact it can have on business. However, that does not negate the fact that for some restaurants, it is simply a challenge to be constantly on top of while worrying about things like ordering and staffing. This is where restaurant management apps come in. These are apps that present an opportunity to keep major facets of your business centrally located and easily accessible for not just administration to see, but also staff, such that everyone can be on the same page about the work that has been done, is being done currently, and still needs to be. They can also produce reports and analysis to inform owners, managers, etc. about trends in this work such as low points and weak spots.
This can come in especially handy when it comes to food safety and sanitation. Since this is one of the biggest areas of contention for a lot of restaurant owners, it only makes sense for us to spend some time discussing these issues and how they can be effectively managed by a restaurant management app. For this blog post, we'll be using the example of Zip HACCP, an app we at Hubworks designed to function specifically with these aspects of your business in mind. All that said, let's get into the meat of the discussion (pun probably intended).
Food Safety and Sanitation
Before we jump into the role of Zip HACCP in improving your restaurant's ability to meet food safety and sanitation criteria, let's first look at a couple of common issues that arise with these topics.
1. Contamination -The most obvious of the bunch is contamination, something we discussed in a previous posting. That article went into far more depth than we ever could rehash here, but the short version is that contamination, both cross-contamination from food and other kitchen bacteria and outside contamination, is the strict responsibility of the employees to keep contained and maintained appropriately. With this one, unfortunately, a bit of elbow grease is the only way to stomp out any issues.
2. Food Storage -
Another major safety and sanitation issue when it comes to food is storage, something we've also discussed in other articles. With storage, things become a bit more nuanced, since it is not 100% in the control of the employees and staff what kind of conditions exist in the freezers and storage containers when nobody is present on site. However, these are things that can be controlled remotely thanks to apps like Zip HACCP, as we'll get to in a moment.
3. Cleaning & Maintenance -The other food safety and sanitation issues come in the form of basic cleaning and maintenance, something every employee should consider a priority for the good of the restaurant. It is everyone's responsibility to monitor the state of the place, even if it isn't necessarily their responsibility to clean it.
How can Zip HACCP help manage food sanitation and safety?
Now that we've gotten some of the basics out of the way, it's time to examine how a restaurant management app, in this case, Zip HACCP, can aid administrators in ensuring the utmost quality of sanitation and safety in their restaurants. We've gone in-depth on a number of these issues in other articles, so be sure to take a look at our blog at hubworks.com/blog to learn even more on the subject.
1. As we've mentioned before, one of the most prominent features of Zip HACCP is its list-making ability. There are some templates and assorted stock lists available within the app itself to allow for the most freedom when it comes to establishing what needs to be done within your restaurant. These lists can cover everything from ordering food or supplies to determining whose turn it is to clean the bathrooms. As such, they are a vital component of the app's functionality and a vital contribution to your business. One of the best uses for these lists is to determine cleaning and sanitation tasks that need to be completed. Since the lists aren't paper or stuck in someone's office, they can very easily be seen and accessed by anyone at any time. This is a sure-fire boost in motivation and accountability, as we've discussed in the past, and will also assist in determining which employees are pulling their weight and which aren't. Sometimes, firing a bad employee isn't an option, in which case your backup plan should be to leverage the good employees and make the most out of them. We've devoted an entire post to the subject on our blog.
2. Zip HACCP can also be used as a means of monitoring temperatures, be it for storage or preparation, thanks to its integration with Bluetooth thermometers. These thermometers, and their readouts, can be monitored remotely through the app, and if nobody is on site when one of the freezers malfunctions, you will be able to tell immediately, allowing you plenty of time to transfer the food to a different freezer and save it as opposed to finding out the next morning and having to junk it all. It may seem like a little thing, but it has the potential to not only save you a lot of valuable time and energy, but also a lot of money.
That's it for our look at how restaurant management apps, such as Zip HACCP, can be used to help with your business' food safety and sanitation. We hope that you've come away from this blog post better informed and, hopefully, better prepared to tackle this issue and begin making these improvements in your restaurant. Until next time!