Operating in the food industry is no joke. Whether you’re a waitress working for tips or a bartender cranking out drinks until late hours of the night, or the manager of a food supply company, there’s much that goes into restaurant service and hospitality that most consumers don’t understand.
Even the creators of your favorite chips, drinks, and organic egg farms have regulations to keep up with. As such, all areas of the food industry require the proper food safety management system.
For restaurants and servers, this comes down to inventory management and using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients. For the farmers of such ingredients and the manufacturers of processed foods, there is much much more that goes into food safety.
You may be asking yourself, “what is the purpose of a food safety management system”, or, “why do I need one”, but don’t worry – this article will answer all your questions. Here’s everything you need to know about food safety management systems.
What Is the Purpose of a Food Safety Management System?
The fundamental purpose of a food safety management system is to maintain the integrity of everything a food company produces. This may mean maintaining the freshness of raw fruits and vegetables, keeping packaged meats at a good temperature and proper processing, or ensuring the safety of employees in large food-making facilities.
Some days food safety management looks like quality assurance and taste testing, and other days it looks like new safety measures for employees to follow. At the end of every day, though, a food safety management system is one of the most important tools of a food business.
Without it, how else can you be sure your food tastes as it should, doesn’t harm consumers, and that your work environment is safe for employees? It might sound like a lot to take on, and honestly, it is. That’s why many food businesses trust SafetyChain to handle their food safety management system.
Check them out if you want to learn more about the ins and outs of good food safety management. Or, keep reading to discover what this looks like on a day to day basis and why it matters so much.
What Does a Food Safety Management System Entail?
A food safety management system has a lot of bases to cover all at once every single day. As such, it’s better to break it down into different parts to get a good understanding of what it entails.
Food safety management works to:
- Identify potential hazards and current hazards
- Control hazards and develop plans of action when hazards are too dangerous
- Track the effectiveness of hazard management and prevention
This is an ongoing process in any food-making environment.
Food Safety for Restaurants
Restaurants prevent potential hazards by using fresh ingredients and throwing out what can no longer be used. It’s the job of everyone – from the delivery receiver to the sous chefs to the head chef – to only put out the best food. It also falls on the manager to order enough ingredients, but not over-order to prevent a rise in food waste and unnecessary costs.
More so, it’s the responsibility of everyone in the restaurant to comply with customers’ allergies and to make their consumers aware of potential allergens. You’ve likely seen a raw consumption notice mentioned somewhere on most menus.
But, have you ever dined out with someone who had a severe peanut allergy or couldn’t eat gluten? The safety of these individuals depends on the food safety compliance of the restaurant’s employees, from the top-level management to the runner who brings out the meals.
Food Safety on a Larger Scale
Larger-scale food businesses, like big-name manufacturers and meat processors, have more complex food safety management systems. They, too, have to deal with possible allergens and maintaining freshness, but those are just the basics.
Manufacturing facilities have to work to ensure the safety of each person in the building and to prevent airborne illnesses from entering and spreading. Think of any food-related recall you’ve ever seen on TV or a case of food poisoning you might have experienced before. These things fall back on the quality of food safety management systems used before a certain food made it to you.
Some people are quick to blame large companies for food-related outbreaks and illnesses. What they don’t realize, though, is that recalls are part of the hazard management and prevention process.
Sometimes, a hazard is identified after it has already affected a facility or even left the facility altogether. From there, food manufacturers have to work round the clock to find a solution, which can take a few days or even a few weeks. They have to stop order fulfillments dead in their tracks, identify the source of the problem in the facility, and get compromised products out of the hands of users.
Who Benefits from Better Food Safety?
At the end of the day, there’s no negotiating when it comes to food safety. You need to have the highest quality food safety management system in place possible if you hope to succeed in the food industry.
Without this tool, your bottom line can only do well. Not to mention, you put the well-being of your employees and customers at risk.
Say you didn’t pay as much attention to your facility processes as you should.
Next thing you know, you have a pile of workers’ compensation claims on your desk or a bunch of people calling out. That’s not good for the culture of the business or day to day operations; it’s a serious issue worth being proactive about.
Consider food safety from the customer’s perspective, too. If a person eats something that you failed to identify as a hazard, they could fall seriously ill. The illness may mean days in the hospital, calling out of work, or worst of all, death.
None of these issues are matters to take lightly, and they all fall back on the food safety systems you have in place.
Food Safety, Smart Eating, and More
There’s food safety from a business perspective, and then there’s food safety as a consumer.
It’s not enough to ask yourself, “what is the purpose of a food safety management system” as a business owner or manager. The best food providers go the extra mile to give consumers the healthiest options possible.
There are thousands of small businesses and large organizations alike making such efforts. They recognize that the current battle against obesity falls partially on them and they want to empower their consumers to make better choices.
This goes for those who are severely obese as well as those who are skinny fat. For more about what skinny fat is and the effects it can have, click here.