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A caterer applying a label to sandwich packaging which includes information about food allergy ingredients

Bringing food safety management up to date

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If complying with food safety regulations sometimes feels like a chore for your business, then there might be a few things you could be doing more efficiently.

There is no question that food safety regulations in the catering and hospitality sector exist for a very good reason. They give suppliers, industry customers and consumers the confidence that food has been safely procured, stored, handled, prepared and labelled.

The rules that govern food labelling are set to be updated by new legislation announced recently by the government.

When the new rules – named Natasha’s Law after teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who tragically died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to a packaged sandwich – are introduced in 2021, foods made on site and pre-packed for direct sale will have to be labelled with a full ingredients list.

Any of the 14 specified allergens present as ingredients must be clearly emphasised, for example using bold text.

Critical processes

The reason that effective food safety management is so important is that it only takes a single slip-up to potentially put customers in danger. Not only does this have potentially serious consequences for the consumer, it also threatens the reputation and the future of every business involved in the supply chain.

For a business owner or manager to be sure of avoiding these pitfalls, there must be absolute clarity on, and control over, the timing and conditions of food preparation, food storage and the ingredients that are included in any given item.

And the only way to ensure this is done properly is to invest in putting the right processes in place.

However, alarmingly, many food-preparation businesses still use handwritten labels in their stock rotation system.

This is taking up staff time that could be better spent on customer service and leaving companies exposed to mistakes that could put customers and businesses at risk, as well as resulting in unnecessary food waste.

Don’t fall behind the times

The reality is that, however diligent your staff may be, tasking them with monitoring the temperatures of refrigeration equipment, hand-writing labels and keeping paperwork up-to-date while also focusing on doing an excellent job of preparing the food and serving customers is too big an ask.

This is why we have developed a digital food safety management system that can help your business free up staff time and avoid these errors in your food preparation, storage and stock rotation processes.

The Navitas solution is based around a handheld SmartProbe device for measuring the temperature of both hot and cold food, along with connected pods and hubs that sit in appliances to provide accurate, straightforward food temperature monitoring by instantly saving readings to the cloud.

End-to-end

Now, working with Brother , we have developed this solution to also address laborious, unhygienic and potentially unsafe food labelling processes, by integrating the TD-2120N compact label printer with the existing technology.

All key information relating to food products is stored in the cloud, including ingredients, allergens and use-by dates, which workers can then access via the Navitas app on an Android tablet, which is wirelessly connected to the Brother printer.

The printer then produces bespoke labels, with the exact information for each product including date and time of preparation, at the touch of a button. The ability to set up a personalised login for each member of staff also ensures a higher level of accountability.

We have seen first-hand how the solution we have developed can be transformative for businesses that previously found compliance with regulations a day-to-day struggle.

By using the Navitas solution, food-service providers can confidently meet and exceed the standards set out in labelling regulations, delivering reassurance to consumers that their food purchases are correctly and accurately labelled, as well as helping businesses to protect their reputation.

Find out how you can increase kitchen safety and efficiency in your business.

 

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