Digital HACCP is a fancy way of saying “Let’s use a smartphone, instead of a pen and paper, to track temperature logs and HACCP checklists.” New technologies have been developed in the last few years that now allow a smartphone to replace the old pen and paper logs traditionally used in kitchens. This simplifies the management of the logs and more importantly allows you to start learning and running your business more efficiently based on the data collected.
Most restaurant owners agree it’s good practice to check temperatures every few hours and even better to have checklists for all the other daily tasks. Doing this with a pen and paper is fine, and definitely better than doing nothing at all. With the widespread use of smartphones and cloud technology, however, tasks and temperature checks can now be completed cheaper, faster and with better accuracy.
Like all new technologies, choosing the right one can be tough. Here are a few questions to consider when choosing a digital HACCP system:
1. WELL, HOW DOES A DIGITAL HACCP SYSTEM WORK?
Digital HACCP systems allow you to complete all your daily tasks and temperature collection on your electronic device instead of writing it down and having to organize and store months’ worth of paperwork. You want to introduce a system that will ease your workload while providing assurance that everything is being completed with accuracy. There are different systems depending on how much information you want to collect and how you want to view the data and reports.
With FreshTemp, you first upload a list of the tasks that need to get done each day (ex. Morning line checks, temp the cooked meat, cleaning the bathrooms.) These tasks are organized by the time they need to be completed. Once all tasks are added and the system is setup, you simply open the FreshTemp App and complete any task that is visible during that time.
2. ARE YOU PART OF A RESTAURANT GROUP OR LARGE NATIONAL BRAND?
Attention to detail, accuracy, and consistency are important when you have a brand to maintain over multiple locations. When part of a concept, some digital HACCP software might come pre-loaded with your company’s daily checklists and temperature logs. This can save you valuable set up time and ensure consistency across multiple locations.
FreshTemp currently supports over 100 food safety checklists across multiple large chain restaurants including Popeye’s, Subway, Arby’s. FreshTemp can replicate one location’s tasks to multiple other locations for quick scalability with the ability to modify individual location’s for customization.
3. WHAT TYPES OF TASKS DO YOU NEED SUPPORTED?
The type of tasks and detail collected vary between each digital HACCP system. Some systems only collect and record temperatures, others act as digital notepads.
FreshTemp focuses on collecting the necessary numerical and qualitative info you need to make sure your company is running at its highest efficiency and safety. FreshTemp is time stamped and allows the addition of notes on every task collected. With four designated task types, you are able to turn anything you would record with pen and paper digital.
- Text Inputs: dates, appearance, labels (What does the delivered beef look like?)
- Number Inputs: fluid levels, portion sizes (How much detergent is left?)
- Temperature: via probe, FreshSense, or manually (Temp of the Walk-In Cooler?)
- Yes/No Questions (Are any employees ill today?)
4. DO YOU WANT NEW DEVICES OR TO USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE (ANY ANDROID OR IOS DEVICE)?
Systems can be based on an app and downloaded from the app store, or they can run on special proprietary hardware. App based systems are nice because they are extremely popular, can be easily updated, and there are a variety of standard sensors to pair with the devices. Also iOS and Android devices can be used for multiple tools to make your kitchen more efficient. Think POS system, front of house system, inventory, and digital HACCP all on one device. On the other hand, proprietary hardware is specifically designed for certain duties. With these conditions in mind the devices are typically more durable.
FreshTemp Is a perfect balance of accessible and custom. The system offers an App that is available on Android and iOS devices. Text and numerical tasks can be completed on the app without any additional pieces. If you would like to complete accurate temperature tasks using a food probe, you are able to connect third party probes with the App. FreshTemp also has the FreshSense system which is a proprietary set of thermometers that consistently send data to the cloud and communicate with the App.
5. DO YOU NEED WIRELESS THERMOMETERS?
There are different types of wireless thermometers out there – ones that are handheld and mobile, and others that are stationary and read the temperature of spaces. Handheld wireless thermometers should communicate with an app or cloud system to improve the speed of taking temperature and ensure accurate measurements. At FreshTemp we like Bluetooth Low Energy temperature probes because of the simplicity and great battery life in handheld applications. Stationary wireless sensors save time and can be configured to send automated alarms when the temperature drops below or rises above a certain threshold. We’ve created a guide for Choosing a Wireless Temperature Monitoring System, check it out!
The purpose of going digital is to make life easier and lighten the pressure around the requirements for your team. Digital HACCP systems are shown to speed up your operations, reduce the risk of a food borne illness and maintain the level of quality control for your products. New technology can be intimidating but we are here to get FreshTemp started in your operation. Contact us today!