The C&UX Expo logo

Food Safety Records: Why You Should Go Digital

The future of food safety records is here - and it’s digital.


You’ve heard of hospitality technology like ordering platforms, digital menus, and contactless
payments. Such advancements are without a doubt very helpful, making life easier for both
customers and businesses. But have you heard of digital food safety apps?


Many restaurants, cafés and food trucks still rely on outdated methods of food safety due
diligence including paper-based diaries and allergen charts. Adoption of back-of-house
technology is slow, and progress seems to be lagging.


The reality is that many food businesses are overly dependent on pen, paper, and dusty
documents stored somewhere unknown. This can be time consuming, costly and result in
inefficiencies, ultimately impacting food hygiene ratings.

Going Digital: The Benefits of Paperless Food Safety Records


It’s true that digital compliance alternatives have been around for a while – but they haven’t
been the most user-friendly or intuitive. Think complex, elaborate software that teams simply
refuse to operate.


Nowadays, there is an increasing number of digital food hygiene solutions for businesses
to choose from, including apps that let you record due diligence checks and log temperatures in
seconds.


The benefits of digital apps versus paperwork are plentiful. Firstly, they eliminate the need for
costly paper, and are therefore more affordable and eco-friendlier. They also ensure better
visibility and control, translating into easier, more knowledgeable management.


Many food hygiene apps prompt staff when checks are about to expire or are overdue, ensuring
nothing gets missed. This gives owners and restaurants invaluable insight, helping prevent
issues. It also instills confidence.


Food safety apps (e.g. Hubl) aren’t just an excellent solution for top-level stakeholders though –
they’re also great for teams. It’s not uncommon for staff to feel overwhelmed with due diligence
paperwork. Switching to digital means easy functionality, visibility and speed. It also means that
changes can be made at the tap of a few buttons.

Another significant advantage of using apps is that they can usually be accessed on easily
transported devices like tablets or mobiles, and typically work both offline and online. If you’ve
got an app, you can take food safety “off the shelf” and safely access all your records anytime,
anywhere.


In summary, digital food safety records have a multitude of benefits, allowing hospitality
businesses to:

  • Cut costs of consumables like paper and ink
  • Save precious time which can be allocated elsewhere
  • Become more environmentally friendly
  • Gain better visibility of operations, issues and priorities
  • Easily access all records and keep them secure at all times
  • Prevent incidents and ensuring nothing gets missed


Sustainability: A Key Concern for Hospitality


Besides cutting costs and enhancing efficiency, opting for digital food safety records can help
improve consumers’ perception of your food business. Why is this the case?


Consumers’ interest and concern about the environment has soared in recent years. According
to research by Deloitte, sustainability is a key consideration for consumers. In fact, 32% of
consumers are highly engaged in adopting a sustainable lifestyle.


When it comes to brand behaviour, consumers are said to value the following practices:
reducing waste, adopting eco-conscious packaging and minimising the carbon footprint,
among others. As reported by Deloitte, 7% of consumers have gone as far as to contact a brand
to raise an issue based on their sustainability and/or ethical practices.


Furthermore, UKHospitality highlights sustainability as being paramount to the hospitality
industry’s prosperity. Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said that “Sustainability is arguably the key
issue of our time. It will become more important and hospitality needs to lead efforts to
promote sustainability yet further.”


With the increasing pressure from consumers as well as organisations to adopt more eco-
conscious practices, it’s necessary for food businesses to rethink their processes and look at
how they can become more sustainable. This is where digital food safety records come in.


In short, paperless food safety documentation and checks help your business significantly
reduce paper usage. This means that your hospitality business will have a lower carbon
footprint overall.

Improving Food Hygiene Ratings with Digital Food Safety Records


An EHO is about to visit your establishment. You’re nervous about it as it is. But then you can’t
find your food safety documentation, HACCP record sheets or diary. They’re probably gathering
dust on a shelf somewhere. The EHO arrives and you can’t provide them with the necessary
documentation, and you can’t demonstrate what steps you’ve been taking to manage food
safety in your restaurant. This means your food hygiene rating won’t be as good as you’d like it
to be.


In many instances, paper-based systems make it difficult to meet EHOs’ requirements and
regulations. Completing checklists manually is a labour-intensive task - and you’ll find yourself
sifting through huge amounts of paperwork in order to monitor what is happening. To local
authorities inspecting your restaurant, this may seem unorganised. What can you do?


If all these issues sound a bit too familiar - opting for digital food hygiene solutions like an app is
sure to get you one step closer to achieving a 5-star rating. Apps let you access all your past
and current checklists, temperature and delivery logs in one place, with just a few clicks. This
allows you to easily and quickly demonstrate due diligence to environmental health
officers, which can positively impact your restaurant’s food hygiene score.


Most due diligence apps have been carefully developed by food safety specialists, and
reviewed and approved by environmental health officers. Ian Waller, head chef of Restaurant
Pine, shares that the food safety app he’s using “smashed it and got us a 5-star rating” and that
“food safety local authorities were very impressed with how it works”.


Embracing Hospitality Technology & Innovation: A Challenge?


Digital solutions take the guesswork out of food safety, letting you focus on what really matters -
running a successful business. Many well-known food businesses (like Farm Girl and The
Cheese Bar) have already made the switch to digital.


For many restaurants, going digital can seem daunting. Resistance to change is normal,
especially technological change. But when the benefits are so worthwhile – why resist? As
Socrates puts it, “the secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but
on building the new”.


It’s time to say goodbye to paperwork, technical jargons and complexities – and hello to digital
simplicity.

Return to the News & Blogs Page