By making yourself aware of what is HACCP food safety, you can place your focus on delivering great food, and building quality relationships with your staff and guests.
Opening a restaurant is a dream for so many, yet the clear majority of them fail. Sure, some closures are due to failed marketing, bland food, or poor customer service. All easy aspects or management to control. But another reason why restaurants close their doors is due to improper knowledge or implementation of what is HACCP.
HACCP, or "Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point," is an internationally-recognized system for reducing the risk of safety hazards in food. While that may sound simple in theory, proper execution is often much more difficult. Communication, proper planning, and recording are not always easy to properly perform when dealing with different shifts, managers, and the hassle of extensive paperwork.
Before we jump into things, let's talk a bit more about HACCP. What is HACCP? HACCP is a preventative program which aims to move away from the "end testing" reliance of products and eliminate customer complaints due to food safety. This allows your team to properly identify hazards as they have the potential of occurring throughout the various stages of production, for adequate measures to be implemented. The system can be used at each stage of a food chain, from food production and preparation to packaging processes.
Beginning back in the 1960's, NASA originally asked Pillsbury to create the first foods for space flights. Since then, HACCP has been recognized internationally as the standard tool for adapting traditional inspection methods and transforming them into a modern, risk assessment-based food safety system.
As you are opening or have opened your restaurant already, HACCP food safety management and sanitation systems are essential to your business' success. It concerns the possibilities of what could go wrong, how to effectively prevent it, and how to make sure that you and your employees are following proper preventative measures. If one or more of the former are not followed properly or deviate in any way, you could not only potentially harm guests, but also fall into legal trouble and have to close your restaurant, or worse.
The system provides your business with a cost-effective system for the control of food safety through each step of production, storage, and distribution. While the benefits truly are endless, here is an easy way to remember the main ones -
1. Saves your business money
2. Avoids harming guests
3. Food safety standards rise
4. Ensures you are compliant with the law
5. Food quality standards rise
6. Organizes safe food production processes
7. Organizes staff, promoting efficiency and accuracy
8. Due diligence defense
As previously stated, being compliant with HACCP food safety may sound simple on paper, but the implementation is a whole other ballgame. There are a few general challenges that restaurant owners and operators face when enforcing what is HACCP compliance. One of the biggest hurdles is just a simple lack of expertise. To develop a program that is compliant, having proper HACCP food safety knowledge is essential. While you don't have to have a degree in Food Science or Microbiology, education in this field is essential. There should be members of your HACCP plan team selected from various departments such as management and production, to have a well-rounded approach to food safety.
Disorganization is another huge challenge when it comes to properly implementing food safety and sanitation standards. The vast majority of restaurants use paper checklists, which isn't a very reliable method of tracking something as important as food safety procedures. While intentions are good, you probably know well that restaurants can get busy without notice, and preventative procedures are often overlooked due to "more pressing" tasks at hand. Some managers will enforce the HACCP procedures, and some won't. Certain shifts will be busier than others, and checklists will go unmarked. Sometimes, paperwork gets lost or is disorganized, which makes procedures or problem areas difficult to identify and track. These are all very serious ingredients for a disaster waiting to happen.
What is HACCP good for then, if not always a top priority? Even if you have just one incident where a customer is harmed due to improper implementation of HACCP food safety, it can greatly harm your brand name. With the age of the internet in full swing, it's now easier than ever to share a negative experience. These kinds of things can quickly go viral, and your brand could suffer permanent consequences.
If your current situation is not working, you may be feeling discouraged because you don't want to waste time and money that you did on your current one, just to start all over again. Perhaps it was difficult to learn or take up too much time to implement throughout your various locations. We know how frustrating that process can be, which is why we have a solution for you.
Zip HACCP is an incredibly effective solution without the hassle. You can seamlessly switch from your current provider with no risk. You can try Zip for free for 30 days, and if it doesn't work out for you, there's nothing to lose. Many companies require some contract, so you're locked into something that may not work or that you don't even use. When a product works, it speaks for itself, and a contract is unnecessary in the initial stages. Efficiency and speed are highly important in the food industry, which is why Zip HACCP doesn't use a lengthy implementation process that just slows business down and makes things more complicated. From the app on your smartphone or from the web, you can start using your checklists immediately, at your convenience.
We believe there's a solution to everything; you just have to find the right one. Find a solution that makes education and implementation simple so that you never have to risk your brand or the health of your guests.