Did you know that each food safety outbreak costs restaurants between $6,330 to $2.1 million? That’s quite a large range, but regardless, it’s expensive not to comply with food safety laws and regulations.
While there are several steps you can take to improve the quality of food served at your restaurant, one of the most effective measures is creating and maintaining an accurate food safety log.
This log allows you to keep track of all activities related to food safety and provides an evidence-based approach that helps minimize potential risks associated with serving meals in your restaurant. Not sure why this log is important or how to use one? Read on to learn how.
FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act
As a restaurant owner, it's critical you know all about the FDA's Food Safety Modernization Act. It's a game changer for consumer safety. Enacted in 2011, this act aims to prevent food contamination and provide enhanced protection against any possible outbreak of foodborne illness caused by neglecting proper protocols.
This law has made it easier for the FDA to collaborate with producers and farms to trace the sources of any potential outbreaks and also greatly improves their overall reach when phasing out dangerous substances in our food. While it's mostly for those working directly with food supply chains (such as farmers), a lot of it applies to restaurant owners, too, at least in an indirect way.
For example, it deals with the following:
- Standards for Produce Safety
- Food Allergy Management
- Alcohol-Related Facilities
However, the most relevant in the context of this mini guide is Section 204, which talks about Enhancing Tracking and Tracing of Food and Recordkeeping. Again, this might not directly relate to your daily life, but it plays an integral role in how the FDA manages food supply systems, eventually affecting you and your employees.
The bottom line here? Due to the law, food safety has increased more than ever. Overall, regulations like this might seem like a hassle for a restaurant or business owner. However, they help keep our food supply safe and contamination far away from our diets.
The Importance of Food Safety
Aside from the rules and regulations you must follow, food safety is important in a restaurant setting for several reasons. It ensures that food prepared in your restaurant is safe, so customers can enjoy their food without worrying about foodborne illnesses or other food-related problems.
For restaurant owners like yourself, food safety is important for public health and can also boost customer satisfaction. It demonstrates to customers that they can trust your food preparation and service standards, resulting in more happy customers, repeat business, and better word-of-mouth referrals.
That’s why food safety should be a top priority for any restaurant owner. It's not just the right ethical thing to do but also helps your business thrive. Who doesn't want that, right?
What Is a Food Safety Log?
You might understand the importance of food safety. Perhaps you already have a restaurant daily checklist of food safety tasks your employees must follow. However, many restaurant owners lack an organized way to track their food safety efforts. Enter: food safety logs.
Really, we're talking about restaurant compliance software. However, food safety logs are a part of that!
Not only do digital food safety logs provide convenient evidence in the case of an audit. They also make it easier to pass inspections from Eco-Sure, Steritech, or other health inspectors.
Plus, having such software also creates a culture of food safety that you can feel confident in. This is especially the case if you own multiple restaurants. Instead of worrying about each restaurant's processes and checklists, you can monitor and adjust workflows as needed via a corporate portal.
What about food safety logs, though? What's a food safety log? It depends on the type of restaurant compliance software you're using. For example, with FreshCheq, you get access to the following:
- Temperature logs
- Inventory logs
- Prep logs
- Cooling logs
- Food waste logs
All of these form part of an effective and functional food safety log.
Benefits of a Food Safety Log
You might already have a health inspection checklist for your restaurant. However, a food safety log (especially one wrapped up in a user-friendly app) takes that a step further. It offers more than just a mere restaurant checklist. Scroll through some of the biggest benefits of using compliance software to generate a daily food safety log.
Restaurant compliance software and its food safety log feature make it effortless to collect accurate data on everything related to your restaurant. For example, this software takes the guesswork out of tracking your inventory. With FreshCheq, for example, you can assign custom units so you know exactly how much of each item you need to have available for a lunch or dinner shift.
Additionally, food waste and its associated costs are easy to track and monitor with just a few clicks. All this means that your restaurant will be up-to-date with health codes, andyou'll have saved yourself time and money with automatically collected data.
Restaurant compliance software and checklists can help streamline workflows significantly, making your daily tasks easier to manage. With these systems, you can track and store processes and use checklists for essential opening, closing, and cleaning tasks.
Additionally, scheduled checklists ensure that all the items on your to-do lists are checked off and completed promptly. An automated system helps streamline the way restaurant staff performs their daily duties. This makes the entire process more efficient and effective. That boosts your bottom line, sure. It also just makes daily life and running a restaurant that much easier.
Restaurant compliance can be a hassle to keep track of. It's no wonder that many choose to simplify the process with restaurant compliance software. This technology allows you to implement regulations with minimal manual effort and keep up-to-date on any changing laws or regulations.
Most also feature helpful tools that enable you to adhere to laws and regulations easily. In some cases, this includes features such as the following (at least if you use FreshCheq):
- Employee health assessments
- Guest health assessments
- Customized restaurant inspections
- Employee accountability
By simplifying compliance processes, restaurant compliance software helps you save time and money while keeping you in good standing with government organizations.
With FreshCheq, you can access an audit screening tool. What's the point of an audit tool if you have a checklist handy? If you own a store, it's important to know how you're performing. For example, do you really know the details and nuances that go into having a successful store?
That's where practice audits come in. They give you real-time insights and allow for customized scoring so that you can practice for regular health inspections. With practice audits, you can utilize the portal to do self-store inspections and mock health inspector audits. That way, when the real health auditors come in, your store will be ready!
Do you remember the statistic above? Food safety outbreaks cost a restaurant, on average, $6,330 to $2.1 million. You obviously want to avoid that cost in any way possible. One easy way to do this is by using compliance software.
Using restaurant compliance software can provide valuable insights for restaurant owners that can help with preventative measures like keeping track of food temperatures, employee training and health-related records, and various safety standards enforced by regulatory bodies.
The software also helps streamline processes for you and your staff. The preventative steps you need to take stay up to date as customer needs evolve. Overall, by utilizing this type of technology, you can work to prevent outbreaks and improve your customers' experiences when dining in your establishments.
Prevent Human Error
It might seem daunting to manage all the safety checks in your restaurant. After all, mistakes can happen despite our best efforts. It's human nature.
To prevent any potential slip-ups, using restaurant compliance software is an excellent option to ensure everyone is staying on task. This software lets you monitor all of your restaurant safety checks easily and quickly, making it much more difficult for errors to occur.
Sure, it might not prevent them entirely. However, the software provides you with an organized dashboard. On that dashboard, you can see who has done what at which restaurant. You can access an accurate and up-to-date overview of what's going on, what needs to be done, and where everybody is at. That peace of mind is priceless in the restaurant industry.
Schedule Your Demo
Keeping food safety standards in your restaurant up to date can be a tricky business. But with FreshCheq's restaurant compliance software, that's all taken off your to-do list. Our comprehensive food safety log feature makes it easy to track everything from food temperature to storage and more.
Our goal? Ensure you don't waste time making sense of regulations or measuring food safety risks. And best of all? You get started on the spot. Just book a free demo with us today and discover how our intelligent restaurant operations solution can help you move food safety confidently forward.