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Food Safety Management Systems in Restaurants: Apply and Implement Peace of Mind 

In any restaurant, quality food is a basic expectation. Providing peace of mind to your customers however, leads to increased return business. Good food hygiene practices, through the use of a practical food safety management system (FSMS), are essential to making sure that food safety is practiced in your restaurant, and these in turn directly contribute to retaining your clientele.   Although the food manufacturing industry has used these systems successfully for many years, it is far less common in small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those in the food service sector. This may be because businesses in the food service industry meet several hurdles when it comes to implementing an FSMS, which they find particularly difficult to: mainly including the incorrect use of practical tools, and lack of knowledge in the subject, which then further leads to not appreciating its importance.  At Tuning Fork Advisory, we believe that the effective use of standards and systems in SMEs should be primarily driven by an internal cultural shift. Furthermore, food safety is not something that can be implemented at the flick of a switch, and its maintenance less so; a commitment to time and effort needs to be invested at every step of the food chain and processes, to ensure a thorough internalizing of the food-safety culture. This is where Food Safety Management Systems come into play.   With regular technological advancements being made in the food industry, it only follows that these are well exploited to reap their fullest efficiency. A standard developed by ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) can boost your operations’ efficiency and effectiveness to work hand-in-hand with the latest technology, thus making running a restaurant much simpler in the long run. Such global standards may therefore be the best possible way to ensure consistency in safety across the world – by abiding to prescribed conditions.   In view of this, we at Tuning Fork Advisory have led many companies in both the food manufacturing and food service industry in implementing the highest levels of food safety, based on international standards such as ISO 22000:2018 and BRC (British Retail Consortium).   It is vital to note that European Regulations together with harmonized Maltese Legislations obliges any business working in the food service industry (from farm to fork) to apply a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan. Failure to comply to such regulations could result in a fine, or even worse: closure of your business.   Prerequisites   and   HACCP  Prerequisite Programmes are put into place to control hazards and prevent product contamination. These may take the form of pest management programs, hygiene and cleaning procedures, supplier control, maintenance and calibration of equipment, among others.   HACCP Plans are created for every process (e.g. receiving food, storage of food, food preparation, etc.) or product, and serve to identify all possible hazards. Furthermore, controls are devised for every hazard to make sure that hazards are eliminated or mitigated, to finally ensure acceptable levels of food safety in the food product being served hence the mucdesired peace of mind.   HACCP, in a nutshell, involves doing the following:   1.Look closely into your business operations. What could go wrong based on the main four types of food safety hazards?  Microbiological    Chemical  Physical   Allergens   2.Identify any Critical Control Points (CCPs). These points are where the business needs to hone its effective monitoring and reduction / elimination of food safety hazards.  3.Decide what action needs to be taken in the event of any risk going wrong.   4.Make sure operational procedures in place are being followed and are implemented well.    5.Keep records to show that your procedures are effective.   Over the years, studies have shown that food safety drastically improves with the implementation of a prerequisite program and bespoke HACCP plan. It has also been noted that the will of the business operator to implement such systems decreases as the complexity increases. This latter point highlights the benefit of onboarding help through companies like us, to simplify and create a bespoke FSMS which is appropriate for your specific food service business, always integrated in internal operations.    Benefits   of   having   a   FSMS  using   practical   Prerequisite   programs   and   HACCP   plans:   Makes it easier to meet legal or corporate requirements. Your FSMS does it for you;  Ensures all raw materials, ingredients and food products used are safe and hygienic. This is not only important to your customers, but it also protects chefs and workers who are involved in food preparation;  Ensures that the suppliers utilised share the same principles of consumer safety, and always provide quality products;  Identifies hazards that might show up during food preparation, allowing you to preempt how to prevent these hazards;  Minimises any possible risks of food-borne diseases;  Ensures food safety on a larger scale. So, if you are looking to expand your business, you would not have to worry about safety requirements;  Provides customers with confidence that both your company and your products meet the correct safety requirements. This in turn improves brand image, building a lasting professional identity associated with your brand.    Bottom line: an efficient and workable FSMS can help immensely in making your restaurant successful and sustainable. By engaging us at Tuning Fork Advisory to ensure effective FSMS implementation – and so, mitigation of any health risks you can gift yourself the same peace of mind that your customers want to enjoy.    

By Holly
Uncategorized

Getting ISO27001 Certified and Having a Skilled Workforce

There is a cyberattack every 39 seconds. Cloud based attacks rose 630% between January and April 2020. 80% of firms have seen an increase in cyberattacks. (Reference: Fintech News August 2020) How can a company be ISO 27001 certified and have Information Security skilled workforce? The number of companies acquiring ISO 27001 certification has grown […]

By Jamesam
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The Importance of Thinking Strategically

Both our personal and professional lives have been disrupted by the COVID19 pandemic which took Malta by storm in March 2020 earlier this year.  Although there are times when situation seems to be looking up, it is difficult to measure the actual impact this has had on the economy and local organisations.  It is still unclear if more changes are yet to come, and what these might be.  Throughout this period, numerous local organisations have been focusing on doing their best to survive and manage the organisation as effectively as possible.  However, it is at times like these that organisations need to think more strategically. It is crucial to see the bigger picture and not to solely focus on your daily work or that of the team. In order to continue to thrive and not only survive as an organisation, it is essential to understand always keep abreast on how the industry will be shifting in the coming months, and plan the next steps sooner rather than later.  Strategic thinking is a technique and mindset that all employees within the organisation can and should practice, irrespective of role and responsibility. Thinking strategically helps any and all personnel work more efficiently, and in turn channel time to be spent where it will have a greater impact in the long run.  Becoming a strategic thinker in 4 easy steps:   Choose to focus on the big picture and stop getting lost solely on day-to-day activities. Don’t miss the woods for the trees.  Get an overall sense of what is happening within your industry, target markets and the world in general keep up with the […]

By Holly
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How do I know when to use business intelligence for my business?

Let's start with a cheeky Google search on a layman’s definition for Business Intelligence (from here on in, simply BI). It’s a set of “theories, methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information for business purposes”. BI is able to “handle large amounts of information to help identify and […]

By Holly
Sustainability

EMAS

A.Raising/Improving your organisation’s global contribution to Sustainable Development B. How your organisation can directly contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals C. Keeping Sustainable Development high on the your agenda - How your organisation can gain recognition and directly contribute[...]

By Holly
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Hire, Manage, Train, Retain

Hiring All data indicates that it is currently an employee’s market. The vast majority of people under 30 are now treating their job as a means to a lifestyle. Today’s employees, especially those considered to be millennials, expect their jobs to fit in with their life style and expectations. A recent report published by Misco […]

By Holly
Human Capital

Why go for a Compliance Management System based on ISO37301:2021?

Why onboard ISO 37301? Howard Shaw, Chair of the ISO technical committee that developed the standard, stated that compliance is not just about avoiding fines and should not be limited to one department. It is everyone’s affair. “Organisations want to work and collaborate with companies they can trust” “And trust is built on a company […]

By Holly
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Business Resilience

As sure as the sun will rise, businesses will continue to face continuous turbulence. Higher volatility has become the new normal, and an uncertain business context is a part of everyday life. Whilst changes present risks, they can also bring significant opportunities. History has shown that in times of crisis, not all companies fare the […]

By Holly