Food Safety standards are rising across the globe.
With the supply chain of ingredients under the microscope like never before, implementing preventative measures to combat foodborne illnesses and to meet industry regulations is now more important than ever. Food suppliers and food retailers must focus on protecting their customers.
The introduction of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) includes controls and requirements for food safety inspections, transportation of food, and HACCP compliance timelines.
Food retailers now need to monitor food storage, preparation, and display temperatures in multiple places throughout the store including deli, dairy, meat, freezer, bakery and produce sections. These temperature records are required to be recorded and maintained for up to 2 years to meet the FDA’s HACCP standards as set out under the FSMA requirements. records must be easily accessible to both the store and the headquarters for both internal as well as Food Safety inspector audits.
Without a digital device these temperatures are taken and recorded manually by store employees. This manual activity is time consuming and expensive. There is not an easy way to ensure the employee complies with the specific frequency or timings. Some employees will “pencil whip” these charts versus completing the required checks on schedule. To avoid these mishaps, an auditable tracking tool that provides photographic evidence of tasks performed and violations highlighted is imperative. A digital device will also suggest corrective action steps to the employee for observed issues.
With a growing demand for digital platforms, technology in restaurant and foodservice equipment has evolved at an unprecedented rate. IoT technology has found a unique niche place with food retailers and restaurant operators alike. Food storage equipment is a critical component to keeping food safe and decreasing food waste for a business. By implementing IoT technology in a food services business, automation and standardization of key processes can be accomplished. Alerts can be sent when temperatures of key equipment moves outside of compliance that may affect the quality of food stored. This helps the operator in anticipating equipment failures before they happen and scheduling maintenance prior to food being compromised and wasted.
A Recent report from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) found that 10 percent of food purchased by a restaurant or foodservice operation is discarded before reaching guest because of a breakdown in storage process. By deploying IoT systems, this can help deter the loss of valuable food items.
Cloud computing is instrumental in transforming food service technology. It provides valuable insights into inefficient processes and business decisions. The cloud offers the resources to streamline operations and access information about a food service business to be pro-active and preventive when it comes to food safety ultimately protecting the brand and gaining consumer confidence.
In an integrated approach to food safety, IoT temperature sensors dispersed throughout the cold and hot food chain, coupled with a food safety/task management system for taking HACCP required food safety temperature measurements, provides unprecedented visibility and traceability, for an end-to-end food safety strategy for groceries or restaurants.
Data from wireless IoT sensors, dispersed throughout the food chain is continually collected and analyzed to ensure temperatures do not exceed pre-defined limits. These limits are based upon HACCP guidelines. The collected data is then subsequently stored electronically for a period specified by the user, typically up to two-years from the collection date per FSMA Regulations.
If a temperature measurement falls outside pre-defined limits, an alert via text or SMS can be sent to the end-user for corrective actions.
IoT Sensors and cloud computing technology can be used to remotely monitor your key investments, alert corrective actions when steps or checklists are missed, thus resulting in an increase in overall restaurant and food service operational efficiencies.