5 Ways to Pass Your Food Safety Auditor's Test With Flying Colors
What is Food Safety?
Food safety refers to how food is prepared, handled, and stored in a way that decreases the risk of individuals contracting foodborne illnesses. Global food safety has an impact on many aspects of living, around the world. Every year, unsafe food causes more than 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 420,000 deaths, according to the World Health Organization.
The food safety approach is designed to keep food from becoming contaminated and causing food poisoning. As a result, having a full understanding of proper food handling and preparation is critical. In these post-Covid times, it has become even more significant.
If you manage a food business, it should be HACCP-compliant, which means it should meet all food safety requirements. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is an internationally recognized approach for identifying and managing food safety risks by examining biological, chemical, and physical hazards associated with raw material production, handling, manufacturing, and final product consumption. HACCP methods are widely recognized, and all restaurants and food industry departments should implement them in their operations to achieve an additional layer of food safety protection.
When handling food, whether as part of your employment or at home, food safety guidelines must be followed. There are numerous risks when it comes to food, all of which can have major consequences for a food business.
What is a Food Safety Audit?
A food safety audit is a structured activity that tries to improve the level of food safety management in a restaurant or other food business by determining whether all procedures related to storage, preparation and handling comply with food laws and regulations.
Food safety audits keep track of several aspects of an operation, such as food storage, food safety management, food preparation, and employee hygiene. It generates a report on the current state and level of food safety in a restaurant, emphasizing strengths and deficiencies. Food safety, planning, and digital management technologies to manage food safety audits are all included in this report. It is designed to assist restaurant operators in improving their food safety management plans.
The food production process is broken down into various stages, each of which can lead to contamination and harm consumers. Foodborne infections cost more than $15.6 billion per year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. As a result, daily food safety audits are required, as an effective food safety audit ensures that safe and sanitary practices are followed throughout the supply chain.
Food safety is a huge issue for restaurants. It's not just about the health of the customers, but also for the business itself.
Implement an effective food safety system to prevent foodborne illness and ensure your restaurant is up to code.
Why Are Food Safety Audits Necessary?
Maintaining food safety standards and certifications necessitates regular food safety audits. Food audits conduct a thorough examination of your restaurant to see whether it complies with well-known food hygiene and safety standards such as those prescribed by the HACCP system. It also makes sure that a restaurant's internal hygiene policies and procedures are observed.
When it comes to tracking food safety, food safety audits provide transparency and assurance that the relevant criteria are followed. Safety audits are a non-biased examination of a food safety management system and its application to improve the restaurant's food safety culture.
Food safety audits minimize the chance of contaminated food reaching customers and prevent product recalls. This could have a positive impact on your restaurant's reputation.
Best Practices in Food Safety
Ensure that employees wash their hands
Hand washing has become the standard, especially since Covid-19. But this isn't just about the pandemic; it's also an important aspect of reducing food contamination in restaurants. After clearing tables, handling dirty dishes, using the restroom, sneezing or coughing, using chemicals, handling raw meat, and touching unclean garments, restaurant employees should wash their hands with soap and water.
Separate cooked & raw food
The primary goal of cooking raw food is to destroy any hazardous microorganisms that may be present in it. When raw and cooked foods are kept together, however, there is a risk of cross-contamination. For example, if you are preparing raw meat which accidentally comes into contact with cooked meat, bacteria from the raw meat may be transferred to the cooked meat. This renders it unfit for human consumption, and food contamination is a possibility.
It is critical to educate all of your employees about food safety at your establishment. You may handle this by using food safety software such as Zip HACCP, which includes integrated temperature solutions, hazard control checklists, and mandatory correction checklists. This allows employees to keep track of Food Safety concerns and appropriate responses. Other types of training include adequate handwashing techniques, appropriate clothing, and so on.
What Happens if a Restaurant Fails a Safety Audit?
A safety audit entails inspecting the establishment, its employees, and the food prepared. During manufacture, processing, cooking, or even packing, a safety audit or restaurant health inspection may be conducted. How food is stored or cooked is scrutinized by the food safety auditor or inspector. He or she may also keep track of the cleanliness of the kitchen.
If a restaurant fails a food safety inspection, the first thing the owner should do is fix all of the issues. This entails not only cleaning and fixing, but also talking to employees to make sure the problem doesn't happen again and to asking them to follow health code laws.
Restaurant owners should conduct a self-inspection when violations have been addressed. This entails a self-evaluation and correction of government norms. It may also assist you in investigating certain health code violations about which you may be unaware.
Furthermore, as a restaurant manager, you must properly respond to food safety auditors' questions. There's a chance you'll fail the audit test again if you don't answer correctly. As a result, it's critical to adopt food safety/HACCP software like Zip HACCP, which automates various food safety regulations and standards simply and efficiently.
A sure way to pass an auditor's test is to implement an effective food safety system.
Here are 5 best practices to follow.
Software Systems That Ensure Food Safety
Restaurant owners can make extensive use of technology to address food safety and quality. Hand washing monitors, for example, allow restaurant personnel to use more effective hand washing techniques. They can also utilize an automatic temperature monitoring system that provides exact calculations and reads the temperature in real time, ensuring bacteria-free meals. There is a variety of food safety software available to ensure food safety during the cooking process. The top three are listed below.
Zip HACCP software, which is available on the Hubworks restaurant app store, is used to track food safety tasks in real time and guarantee that employees follow all operational procedures without difficulty. Restaurant owners who use Zip HACCP software may be assured that food safety procedures are being followed correctly at their establishment and that they will be notified if any problems develop.
Zip HACCP can sync with a variety of devices, including a smartphone, and deliver real time reports. This enables owners to make informed decisions about many areas of food safety.
It also includes a Cooper Atkins Blu 2 food temperature monitor that can be readily integrated with Zip HACCP software to ensure that food is neither undercooked nor overcooked and it is clear of microorganisms that cause disease. The temperature monitor probe and other features are included in Zip HACCP's $59.99 monthly plan.
FoodDocs makes it easier to set up and maintain a food safety management system. It produces a HACCP plan in less than an hour, and its automatic setup allows for a 15-minute transition to digital safety. This AI-powered food safety software helps restaurants stay compliant with food safety protocols, including food safety legislation and food safety management systems like HACCP. It includes smart audit templates as well as full HACCP audits on a variety of devices. FoodDocs also has a dedicated customer support staff that can assist you with setting up your HACCP plan. The Fast HACCP plan costs $59, whilst the Lite FSMS package costs $99. It also offers a $299 Full FSMS Plan.
FoodReady is a food safety and HACCP software for restaurants, and food producers. By establishing a HACCP plan and maintaining all necessary papers in a single centralized platform, this software saves time and money. It also includes a web application for food safety auditors that includes measures for managing safe food processing operations. You can also keep track of inventory management, sanitation records, time and temperature data, and employee training, among other things. It also keeps track of vendor-supplied raw ingredients and batches of daily food production. It has a package for restaurants that costs $89 per month per location. All of its plans come with a seven-day free trial period.
Food Safety FAQs
Q. Who is a food safety auditor?
A. Professionals who track the rules and criteria of a food safety audit and HACCP-based food safety system are known as food safety auditors. They conduct food safety audits in restaurants to ensure that food standards are followed in the best interest of Public Health, as well as to educate restaurants and staff on various food safety measures.
Q. How does food become hazardous?
A. One of the most common causes of food poisoning is contamination. It is the existence of unknown but dangerous germs or chemicals in food. Contamination may be physical, chemical, or biological.
Q. What is food safety monitoring?
A. It is the process of checking for safety concerns in a restaurant regularly, tracking compliance, and ensuring that all food safety protocols are followed correctly. Food safety software, such as Zip HACCP, is effective at monitoring food safety and ensuring that the food you eat is free of contamination.
You want to pass the auditor's test, but you don't know how.
Implement these 5 best practices for food safety and you'll be on your way to passing the auditor's test with flying colors.