Digital Food Safety – a revolution whose time has come

David Davies – Product and Marketing Director of Checkit

Food safety, is by definition critical to food service businesses.  Managing it efficiently and consistently is a core part of any well run operation.  For customers it’s been something that’s not thought about until you or someone you know is personally affected. 

But that’s all changing.  In today’s market, food safety ratings are ever more visible and are likely to be compulsory in the real and online worlds very soon.  Any problem or loss in rating has its affect magnified by social media, review sites and local press hungry for news.  And in today’s hyper- competitive market this all matters in terms of pounds and pence.  Research shows that 61% of consumers won’t visit a business with a rating under three stars, and 75% say they won’t visit an outlet implicated in food poisoning unless it had changed hands.  That’s a lot of business potentially slipping away.

On the face of it, food safety depends on good practice being consistently applied through basic measures and checks.  Sound simple, but in practice humans forget when they are busy, checks get missed and not everyone is a conscientious as the owner or manager.  On top of that, paper records are notoriously tedious to keep and file.  The result is that managers are living with increased stress and risk while wasting one to three days a month on paperwork.

As if that wasn’t enough, there is more pressure mounting up.  The regulatory regime looks likely to change, with more emphasis put on the quality and ease of accessing data from food businesses.  Good staff are ever harder to find and retain.  And as customers demand more and more, the quality of service and experience are coming increasing into focus.

Time for digital

Bearing all that in mind – one has to ask why so many businesses still use pen and paper to run these activities.  Paper can’t remind staff what to do when, or let you know when things are wrong.  It can’t validate who did what when or whether a temperature was really as recorded.  It can’t create and organise its own reports.  And it can hardly meet the aspirations of the 21st century worker for the right tools.  Most businesses have long since stopped using pen and paper for their accounts and moved to digital systems.  Now, a new generation of affordable, highly usable and Internet based digital food safety systems are doing the same for food safety.

And what’s interesting is that the benefits extend beyond the core of food safety.  The same disciplines of routinely doing the right things well and monitoring key control points have benefits across many aspects of operational management, and staff not spending time on paperwork spend more time focused on customers.

Digital systems for food safety and operations management such as Checkit are set to become the norm.  Just like computerised accounting, email and ordering systems have done elsewhere in business, with similarly far-reaching results.

If you want to find more about Checkit call 01223 941 450 or visit