Manage Your Supply Chain to Optimise Your Customers’ Experience
It is often said that the standard of one organisation dictates the standards of other organisations it associates with. This concept also holds true with professional kitchens. Consequently, Chefs and Restaurant Managers seeking to attain a quality culture in their kitchens need to pay particular attention to the standards of every link in their supply chains to ensure they are acceptable. After all, the standards of suppliers impacts the food safety of the ingredients which are eventually presented for diners to consume.
A sensible place to begin for a commercial kitchen is to appoint a suitably qualified staff member to act as the Food Safety Supervisor. This role may include such tasks as –
· Liaising with suppliers and their suppliers as appropriate,
· Promoting a food safety culture in their kitchen and all along the supply chain,
· Carrying out educational and mentoring moments with staff and suppliers,
· Designing and adopting food safety best practice applicable to their circumstances,
· Ensuring suppliers adopt the best practice in food safety,
· Carrying out regular food safety audits and ensuring suppliers are doing the same.
Most food suppliers are very aware of the conditions required to maintain the quality and food safety of their ingredients. However, as with every business, personnel come and go and standards fluctuate occasionally so maintaining a positive working relationship with all suppliers is by far the best approach. Consequently, your kitchen’s Food Safety Supervisor should be someone capable of this.
In addition to suppliers, transportation companies need to be aware of the potential hazards and consequences of unsafe food handling practices. While meat, seafood and dairy products are routinely transported in refrigerated trucks, how often do recipients of the goods keep a record of the internal temperature of the cooled chamber before the goods are unloaded? Yet this is one of the common times foods can enter the food temperature danger zone between 50C and 600C. It is also best practice for Food Safety Supervisors to view the maintenance records of the refrigeration units on delivery trucks to ensure they comply with the manufacturers’ requirements.
Upon first reading this, some may think the strategies in this article are over-cautious. However, should news of your restaurant’s failure to meet its food safety obligations hit the headlines because public safety has been compromised perhaps a different perspective will be adopted. Make no mistake – food safety is a serious issue and Food Standards Australia New Zealand has legislative power to hold offending food production outlets to account. Willing compliance with the law is by far the best option so customers are happy and confident to enjoy meals produced by your establishment. The social media reviews customers write can make or break restaurants so show them how wonderful yours is and reap the rewards.