It can be hard to impress on employees the importance of handwashing, maintaining safe food temperatures and other food safety practices. While they may understand why it matters in the abstract, employees are somewhat disconnected from the consequences. It can be hard for them to really believe they could lose their job, sicken customers or cost the restaurant anything from a few thousand to a few million dollars.
So what can you do to make a food safety culture more of a natural part of day-to-day work rather than something employees must remember as another task?
1. Use Digital Tools
With an increasing number of Bluetooth-enabled thermometers, humidity sensors and other tools, you can make line checks and other alerts and tasks easier. Temperatures will automatically populate as employees do line checks, rather than you taking the risk they just guessed at temperatures to avoid finding the clipboard and spreadsheet normally used for such tasks.
And when you can tie alerts directly to temperatures, employees know exactly what they need to do if food or the refrigerator isn’t within a safe temperature range.
2. Have Food Safety Standards Integrated Into Your Checklists
A good back-of-house system will help maintain HACCP compliance by ensuring employees follow the correct food safety steps, and you have records of what actions have been taken. So if you build HACCP-compliant actions into your daily checklists, employees will be able to maintain compliance as they do their day-to-day duties, and you log actions as well as have incident management workflows should any issues pop up.
3. Share Insights Across the Company
When you have your back-of-house system from all locations feeding into a central data warehouse, you can uncover insights, areas of risk and ways to take action that may not be apparent when looking at disconnected information from single locations. Sharing insights across your brand allows you to find ways to maintain food safety compliance that are more intuitive for employees, or provide additional training on high-risk areas.