Your business’s reputation for safe, clean, quality food is paramount. So how do you protect your food business from a crisis?
‘French fries, already limp and oil-sogged… served cold.’
‘Toasted marshmallow’ that ‘tastes like fish.’
Rumours multiply. The description above is from a blistering New Yorker review of Guy Fieri’s restaurant in Times Square, but the echo of its accusations – ‘cold grey clots’ of food and ‘dirty dishes’ jammed against new plates – strike fear into the heart of any respectable business that takes pride in its food safety.
Whether you run a restaurant or a hotel, a childcare centre or a bakery, your business’s reputation for safe, clean, quality food is paramount to its success in the community. So how do you protect your food business from a crisis like the one that hit Guy Fieri’s restaurant?
Using a Food Safety Supervisor To Protect Your Business
Employing a Food Safety Supervisor is a legal requirement for many licensed food businesses in Australia, but not all businesses use their Food Safety Supervisors strategically. Your Food Safety Supervisor is your best protection against a food safety crisis. If you invest in a robust and flexible Food Safety Plan, you can protect your food business against common blunders.
With the simple tips below, you can:
- Prepare your business against unforeseen crises
- Foster a culture of food safety that meets Australian legislation
- Make sure your supply chain is traceable, and
- Provide assurance of your business’ quality to customers
Protect Your Customers
First and foremost, a Food Safety Supervisor is your front-line defender when protecting customers against foodborne illnesses. Unfortunately, bad hygiene can strike as invisible bacteria, as well as more obvious signs like dirty dishes piled in a sink.
According to the Medical Dictionary, 1 in 2 of us carry food poisoning bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) in our ears, nasal passages, throat, and on our hands. Only once this bacteria is ingested can it wreak havoc on our immune systems, especially on the vulnerable in our communities.
From managing allergy risks to handling customer complaints about food safety, a Food Safety Supervisor can give you real-time solutions to food safety problems that affect your business’s relationships with customers.
Prepare Your Business For Unforeseen Crises
The second duty of a Food Safety Supervisor is to build a Food Safety Program that aligns with Australian law. But rather than sticking to the bland templates, why not incorporate a contingency plan for a food safety emergency like a product recall or food poisoning? With proactive prevention in mind, this plan will ensure your business remains two steps ahead of any crisis.
Foster A Culture Of Food Safety
By building food safety into procedures to save time and effort, a Food Safety Supervisor can promote an internal culture that embraces food safety. Encourage your Food Safety Supervisor to delve into the latest news in food technology to see if it can inspire cost-effective solutions for your business.
Part of a Food Safety Supervisor’s role is building a Food Safety Plan for your business. By creating an ongoing, proactive plan, the Food Safety Supervisor can:
- Teach staff safe, time-efficient food handling techniques
- Carry out regular safety checks to prevent crises
- Improve employee safety, including managing hazards in the workplace to prevent injuries and reduce the need for costly worker compensation
- Design or adapt workspaces to optimise efficiency and reduce safety dangers
These simple measures can make a huge impact on the way your business handles food safety.
Ensure Traceability In Your Supply Chain
Your Food Safety Supervisor can protect your business by keeping up-to-date on your food ingredients, suppliers, where your products are sourced from, and food recalls in the news.
According to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), Australian food businesses must be able to identify the source of all raw materials, additives, other ingredients, and packaging used in the food at any point in the supply chain, and produce this information on request for an authorised FSANZ officer.
A food business cannot neglect traceability in its supply chain. These measures are vital to making sure you can quickly isolate and stop contaminated products from reaching customers if a food ingredient you use is recalled.
To improve food quality and freshness, ask your Food Safety Supervisor to build quality assurance into your Food Safety Plan to manage incoming deliveries and store food safely. This will ensure your food business only accepts food from suppliers that is fresh, high quality, and unspoiled.
The easiest way to build high safety standards into your business is to train one of your staff as a Food Safety Supervisor. By creating a proactive strategy and using the Australian Institute of Food Safety’s extensive content library, you can protect your food business from malicious food safety rumours, customer complaints, and safety breaches, rather than waiting for the rumours, savage reviews, or fines to roll in.