Most national brand restaurants have a fundamental knowledge of safe food practices. They have well written and well articulated food handling procedures that guide even the most novice of food service workers. More often, when you read headlines speaking to yet another food related incident, procedures are written, BUT- they are not followed.
In July, 703 individuals fell ill after eating at a Chipotle in Powell, Ohio. The CDC confirmed after testing stool samples from infected customers that the Ohio outbreak was due to clostridium perfringens — a foodborne disease that occurs when food is left at unsafe temperatures. As a result of the outbreak, Chipotle Field Leadership is retraining restaurant employees nationwide on food safety and wellness protocols.
Chipotle has had other documented cases of food safety concerns as recently as late 2015 with over 40 locations being cited for e.coli. So how can a business fall prey to yet another foodborne outbreak?
Not the sole culprit, but certainly a great place to look is at the most vital aspect of the food safety equation, humans. Even the best written, and simplest instructions can be ignored or side stepped by humans.
AZ Central reports fast food industry turnover is at an all time high of 150%; that’s comparable to hiring and retraining a full staff every 9 months. With a transient workforce, its difficult to ensure that every employee knows all the target areas to watch out for and to have an “eye” for potential breaks in food safety chain.
Businesses are looking to move towards automation to remove the human variable and to ensure consistency during cooking and cleaning processes. Automatic meat dispensers for grills and automated cooktops all with intent to make sure meat is held at acceptable temperatures and cooked to safe levels before it gets handed to the public. Hydra Rinse has automated the cleaning and sanitizing process for ice cream machines. The automated process ensures that your equipment is cleaned consistently every time while maintaining product flavor and quality.
The labor force will not be replaced by robots and automation. Supervisors and employees alike must be held to the highest standards to ensure food safety requirements are met consistently every day.