When it comes to food safety, whether we’re talking about stored foods or foods that are being cooked, temperature is absolutely crucial. Safe temperatures must be adhered to as per food safety regulations to ensure that harmful bacteria and pathogens either do not grow in stored food or are killed off in cooked food.
Monitoring temperatures should be a simple task. However, with manual and paper-based monitoring systems, it can be easy to get it wrong, resulting in significant health risks for diners – especially with higher risk ingredients like poultry. On this point, recent research from the Food Standards Agency found that 43% of people were concerned about food safety in UK food outlets. There’s also the risk of stock spoilage as a result of fridge or freezer failure or appliance temperatures rising above permitted levels going unnoticed.
Quite apart from the food wastage, the costs here can be significant when you consider that an average under-counter appliance can hold around £100 of stock, and a walk-in appliance can hold more than £4,000 of stock. Finally, there’s the amount of time staff need to spend conducting and recording manual temperature checks. Our own industry research suggests that kitchen staff spend around two hours a day taking and recording appliance temperatures manually.
Digital temperature monitoring and food safety systems address all these challenges, making compliance with food safety regulations straightforward and simple saving staff time conducting manual checks, preventing food waste and stock spoilage costs and providing reassurance to hotel guests.
Temperature monitoring and food safety best practice checklist
The Navitas Digital Food Safety system comprises hardware – Smart Probes, Hubs, Pods and a label printer – and software to create a complete food safety management system that entirely replaces paper-based methods and stores it in the cloud.
The Smart Probe is used to check food temperatures while the Pods and Hubs monitor, record and report in real-time, fridge and freezer temperatures. Navitas’s allergen and stock rotation labelling solution in partnership with Brother, provides a step ahead of compliance food labelling system.
Using Navitas software each of these devices feed data back to the Navitas platform. The information can be accessed on a tablet or via any device using the Navitas App. Additionally, the App hosts cleaning checklists and schedules, HACCP and an allergen module which is fully integrated with the label printer.
Here’s how systems like the Navitas Digital Food Safety platform help improve food safety standards, minimise the risk of human error in food preparation, cooking and serving, therefore safeguarding customers’ health.
- Using the Smart Probe food temperatures can be monitored at every stage of the cooking and hot service process using calibrated probe thermometers in order to verify that target temperatures are being achieved.
- Different probe needles can be used for temperature monitoring different foods to avoid any risk of cross-contamination. These comprise Raw, Ready to eat, Infrared and Halal probe needles – each colour coded to prevent mix ups.
- Temperature probing of food should be undertaken not only during storage, cooking and hot-service, but also at the delivery stage when receiving goods inwards for supplier monitoring. Any food or ingredient not delivered at the correct temperature should be returned to the supplier.
- Using Smart snap-on, snap-off probes mean taking temperatures is quick and easy. It takes just four seconds to record a temperature using the Navitas Smart Probe.
- Appliance temperatures should be monitored regularly and there should be a system in place to alert users to changes in temperature. Navitas pods automatically report and record the temperatures of fridges and freezers every 30 minutes, sending alerts to notify kitchen staff of issues. This allows them to take necessary action immediately – in the event of a walk-in fridge breaking, the Navitas system can help avoid thousands of pounds of food waste.
- A kitchen’s own checklists can be loaded on the probe itself and uploaded to the database, so the checks can be done by any member of the team.
- The system also records all of the HACCP activities, checklists and various temperatures on the database, so no paperwork is needed at all.
- As a result, operations teams no longer need to drive to multiple locations to look through daily HACCP records to check a sites compliance as they can access all of the checklists and temperature records online. The Navitas system also allows them to prioritise visits to sites which need attention or additional training.
- Some insurers may also take a digital food safety system into account when reviewing insurance policy pricing.
- Since each member of staff has their own login and the software can automatically record all activity on the platform, digital food safety systems can ensure full transparency, accountability and traceability.