If you’re in the business of food, you’re automatically in the business of food safety - the two go together like bacon and eggs.
But while food safety data management is essential, it’s easy for businesses to get daunted by the prospect of staying on top of their compliance obligations.
Need to improve the way your record and store your food safety data? Here are five tips.
1. Know what your compliance obligations are
Every industry has its own set of compliance expectations it needs to abide by, even if it’s simply paying tax or GST on time. Long before you start your food business you need to understand what your compliance obligations are, particularly around a food control plan (FCP).
What kind of food business you’re in will determine what kind of FCP you need to have; a restaurant’s FCP will be different to a market stall’s one, for example. To find out what your food industry needs to do, check out the guidelines listed on the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) website.
2. Go digital
Traditionally, food businesses have recorded and managed their FCP manually. While this may have done the job, it isn’t the most efficient mode of management in 2019.
Digitally recording and managing your FCP is the answer for 21st-century food businesses. Safe Food Pro lets you save time on paperwork and record-taking by looking after all your records in the cloud. Designed and built in New Zealand to meet the requirements of MPI’s Food Act 2014, Safe Food Pro makes food safe and suitable for both New Zealand consumers and export markets.The best part about the Safe Food Pro app is that it tells users exactly what they need to do when they need to do it. Automatic alerts tell business owners and managers who has done what and when, and notifications will warn them if any tasks miss their deadlines.
Instead of trawling through screeds of paperwork to find a year’s worth of fridge temperatures, for example, simply log into your Safe Food Pro app to instantly access the data. When it comes to submitting it to API, it’s easy to download and share.
3. Create good habits - and stick to them
If you continue to manually manage your FCP, that’s OK, as long as you create good habits so you don’t miss anything - and stick to them. An FCP protects both you and your customers so it’s really important that you take your obligations seriously.
The beauty of going digital with Safe Food Pro is that you can create automatic deadlines and alerts that ensure the right records happen at the same time. Assign certain tasks to certain people to share the responsibility around a bit.
4. Make sure your whole team is on the same page
While managing your FCP is ultimately a food business owner’s responsibility, that doesn’t mean they have to do all the record-taking. Empower key members of your staff to complete tasks that are relevant to their roles.
The key to involving your entire team is investing time and energy into appropriate staff training. Make sure even the most junior or newest staff members understand their roles in your FCP, for example how they handle food or present dishes to customers.
Remember, just because you’re the boss, doesn’t mean you have to actually do the training. Equip senior members of your team with the skills and resources they need to pass on essential information to newer members of staff.
5. Stay up to date with compliance changes
New Zealand’s current FCP expectations are pretty clear and straightforward, but that doesn’t mean changes might not happen in the future. Stay on top of any possible changes to compliance by developing and maintaining a good relationship with MPI, and being aware of what other companies like you are doing.
Improve Your FCP Processes with Safe Food Pro
The easiest way to improve how you record and store FCP-related data is by going digital. Find out how Safe Food Pro could set your business up for efficient record-taking today.