6 Benefits of using a digital food safety system in your business
October 25th , 2021 by Monika Australia & Asia Pacific
In business, there’s a certain comfort in doing things the way you’ve always done them. A perfect example is using manual food safety records: there’s no capital outlay, no technological barrier for staff, and everyone knows how to use them.
So why make the move from spreadsheets or pen and paper to a digital food safety system? In this article, we outline the top 6 benefits of digital food safety systems– and show you how manual recording could be a far greater burden on your business than you might think.
Ease and speed of use
Consider the time it takes to take manual temperature readings during food production or storage – particularly as staff move from one food item or refrigerated cabinet to the next. Not to mention the time and effort involved in collating and analysing this data for monitoring and auditing purposes (no small feat with a manual system).
Now consider a digital system where this data is captured automatically. No manual recording, just live updates from a sensor or probe directly to the cloud. Plus step-by-step instructions and prompts for staff via a mobile device so they can effortlessly move from one task to the next.
Once they are shown how to use it, staff will appreciate being given tools that help them work fluidly when it comes to food safety – instead of wrestling with manual data entry every day. This also helps you attract and retain quality staff, particularly younger employees.
Timely and accurate data
As a business owner or food service manager, you need complete confidence in your food safety data. A manual system can never give you that kind of peace of mind.
The fact is, paper records can’t alert you as soon as something needs your attention. They can even be a smokescreen for what’s going on in your operations – giving false reassurance that procedures are being followed. Busy and well-meaning staff will inevitably make mistakes, forget to complete a task, and may even be tempted to record false data.
With a digital food safety system, you will know if a task gets missed or a temperature is out of safe range – not just after the fact, but when it happens. System alerts and escalations direct to your phone mean you can take prompt action in the event of a breach.
Tracking of food safety tasks and checks
Food safety processes are notoriously difficult to monitor. How do you know staff are doing what is required and when? With manual systems, it can be tempting for staff to ‘tick the box’ for the sake of getting a task out of the way.
With MonikaPrime’s digital food safety system, staff can be required to record comments and photo evidence when completing a task, such as cleaning or pest control. As their manager, you can even schedule these tasks so they can only be closed off in specified locations at specified times.
Remote task scheduling and monitoring ensure your food safety tasks run like clockwork. This prevents you from being caught out by a surprise audit or health inspection – something you might have dreaded in the past.
Efficiency and productivity
Let’s face it, it’s harder than ever to run a profitable food business, so doing food safety efficiently just makes good business sense. With so many checks and tasks throughout the food production cycle, food safety can completely overwhelm your day-to-day operations. But it doesn’t need to.
Any digital system that lives up to its name will use task automation and artificial intelligence to slash hours in manual labour, not to mention hard cost savings through reduced food spoilage and equipment running costs.
Data visibility, analysis and reporting
When it comes to food safety, knowledge is power. But without data at your fingertips, it’s very hard to react to protect your business or improve the way you do things. A digital food safety system integrates data from across multiple teams and sites into one central, remotely accessible system.
Live updates via a central dashboard show you what’s happening across your operations right now, while retrospective reports help you spot trends over time. You can also run a drill-down analysis of specific aspects of food safety, such as equipment diagnostics, corrective actions, issues and alerts.
Systems, policies and procedures in one place
Having one central place to store and manage food safety policies and procedures also makes it super easy to implement improvements to the way you do things. At the touch of a button, you can enact a task flow update across all of your teams or sites. This simply wouldn’t be possible if you were just using paper.
The true cost of pen and paper
Understandably, food business owners are often concerned about the cost and implementation of digital solutions, fearing they will be too expensive or difficult to manage.
But before you decide to stick with the status quo, it helps to consider the true cost of a manual food safety system. Pen and paper recording might appear to be cheap – even free – but you’re wasting valuable time on something that does very little to protect your business.
Technology streamlines your processes, improves safety, reduces risk and error, and integrates data across your operations. The important thing is choosing the right system for you, and ensuring you have the support you need to implement it.
Contact us for a free demonstration, where we will show you exactly how it can work for you.
Monika has provided digital food and clinical safety solutions to healthcare and foodservice institutions worldwide since the early 1990s. Our product simulation technology originated from research conducted in an accredited laboratory into 100+ different product types.