How a food safety management system helps with HACCP
July 2nd , 2020 by Monika Australia & Asia Pacific
Under the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards (3.2.1), food businesses should implement a food safety management plan based upon HACCP principles. This plan should be periodically reviewed and audited.
As many foodservice professionals would know, developing your food safety program is one thing – but implementing it is quite another. How can you ensure the right actions are taken by the right person, at the right time – easily and traceably?
With so many critical points in the storage, handling and serving of food, and so many checks to ensure standards are met and food is safe to eat, the burden of compliance can be overwhelming.
What is HACCP?
HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) is a systematic, proactive approach to food safety. It is a continuous process of controlling hazards at critical points in the food production process to prevent an incident from occurring. It involves:
- looking closely at what you do in your business, what could go wrong and what risks there are to food safety
- identifying your critical control points – the areas your business needs to focus on to ensure risks are removed or reduced to safe levels
- deciding what action you need to take if something goes wrong
- making sure that your procedures are being followed and are working
- keeping records to show that appropriate actions are being taken to keep people safe.
So what is the easiest and most reliable way to implement your food safety program, and track and record actions take to keep your customers safe?
Tools for doing HACCP better – and smarter
For many foodservice professionals, HACCP compliance can seem far too onerous. And often for good reason – but this is most likely due to the tools or methods used to implement your food safety program, rather than the standards or regulations themselves.
That’s where a digital food safety system can transform the way you see and manage food safety. With MonikaPrime – a complete, fully customisable system that covers both temperature control and hygiene practices – you can streamline and even automate many of your food safety and hygiene procedures, significantly reducing the burden of compliance.
Features of an effective digital food safety system
HACCP has two major underlying principles – temperature control (to kill bacteria or prevent its growth) and hygiene practices (to detect or prevent contamination). A digital food safety system needs to cover both in one place but be flexible enough to allow you to tailor it exactly to your operation.
1. Automated, remote temperature monitoring
The first step to streamlining your food safety processes is to eliminate manual temperature checks. You can achieve this by installing live, core product sensors in all your refrigeration equipment with customisable temperature ranges (e.g. for high risk or sensitive products).
Alarms and email/SMS alerts can be triggered 24/7 and corrective actions recorded to show how you managed any issue that arose (not to mention protecting you from costly stock losses).
2. Digital safety and hygiene task management
The next step is to equip your teams with a purpose-built mobile device that prompts them to complete and log all food safety and hygiene tasks across their work area, according to a schedule set by you – from hand probing, cleaning and maintenance to stock rotation and shelf-life checks.
With MonikaPrime’s customisable software, which can be adapted to suit your operations and compliance needs, you can assign tasks to designated areas (e.g Front of House, Back of House) at designated times or intervals (e.g. hourly, daily, weekly or monthly).
You can even schedule tasks to be completed within set timeframes or ‘windows’ that tend to be quieter periods for your operations – to maximise staff resources. You can then set and escalate reminders to managers to make sure no critical tasks are missed.
3. Access to critical food safety data – anywhere, anytime
With a MonikaPrime digital food safety system, you’re always audit-ready because data is captured in real-time and saved to the cloud to be accessed anywhere, anytime.
For example, wireless probes upload live data from your food temperature checks at good inwards, preparation, prime cooking, chilling, reheating and serving.
All data is fully traceable to date, time, user and location for full management oversight, auditing, compliance and accreditation purposes. This is particularly valuable if you manage multiple sites, giving you a 360 degree view of food safety performance across your entire business operations at any given time.
4. Fully customisable to your operations
One of the keys to successfully following a HACCP-based food safety program is that you adopt systems that are appropriate for your business. That of course means that flexibility in your digital food safety software is key.
You need to be able to meet your obligations without making more work than necessary, which is why an off the shelf or paper-based food safety system doesn’t work for everyone. It may not address the unique setup of your business, its particular critical control points, risks, and procedures. You don’t want to end up spending extra time developing your own systems in tandem to ensure nothing gets missed and you can report adequately come audit time.
Bringing a renewed focus to food safety
As we’ve outlined above, instead of feeling like a burden or ‘just another thing’ you have to do, with the right tools food safety can become something you and your staff take pride in.
With a more streamlined approach that is tailored to your needs and the needs of your business, your teams can move forward with a renewed sense of purpose around what matters most: protecting your customers and your business.
Sounds like this could work for you? This is exactly how a Monika system has been designed – to suit your unique operations, and help food safety and hygiene tasks run like clockwork across your organisation. Contact us for a free demonstration on 1300 857 025 or via firstname.lastname@example.org