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Modernizing Food Safety: HotSchedules Isn’t Just a Scheduler

With the recent foodborne illness outbreaks that have plagued the restaurant scene this year, food safety is top of mind for both consumers and operators. Consumers trust that the food they are being served is safe and once that trust is lost, it can be hard to get them back in the doors. It’s no […]

With the recent foodborne illness outbreaks that have plagued the restaurant scene this year, food safety is top of mind for both consumers and operators. Consumers trust that the food they are being served is safe and once that trust is lost, it can be hard to get them back in the doors. It’s no wonder that many restaurant groups are stepping up their game in the food safety area, and are looking for better ways to keep their team trained and accountable to the food handling guidelines.

HotSchedules has always been known as a great tool for scheduling and labor management , but with the new upgrade to the Logbook, we can help you manage food safety as well. Below are some easy ways to use HotSchedules to enhance and enforce the measures you have in place.

Utilize recurring To Do’s for monthly maintenance items.

It’s easy to forget those pesky maintenance tasks…until the inspector shows up with flashlight in hand. You can easily set monthly reminder to de-lime the ice machine or power wash your reach in shelving.

Use your Library to store training/food safety information.

Store your policies and procedures relating to safe food handling where everyone can easily access them. Have a guest with allergies? Your server can now easily access the Allergen Menu. Can’t remember the guidelines for hand-washing? You can pull them up on your phone.

Log any notes from your Pest Control vendor in the Daily Log.

You can easily customize your Daily Log to include a section for pest control. You are likely storing records of their visits, but this with the search feature you can easily find when they came as well as what issues they addressed. You can also add their contact info and your reps information in your Contacts so everyone knows who to call when the pests surface.

Use Certification Tracking to ensure that your staff has the proper safety training and licenses to serve safe food to your guests.

You can customize certifications to cover any food safety training you have in place. Once a certification is setup for an employee, the employee and manager will receive a reminder to renew when they approach their expiration date. You even have the option to kick them off the schedule if they don’t renew.

Create a Tasklist to help you self inspect.

No one likes surprises, especially when they come in the form of your friendly health inspector. Doing weekly in house inspections can eliminate the need to panic and allow you to uncover any issues or opportunities you may have in your restaurant. Typically you can find the exact form that your local health department uses. You can also include the critical violations as tasks in your daily line check for extra insurance.

Create a Tasklist to serve as your Food Cooling Log.

We all know that leaving food in the danger zone after cooking is a big no no, but the two step cooling process can get a little confusing. With a cooling log, you can ensure that all cooked foods were brought down to temp in time to prevent bacteria from growing. You can also include instructions that can help guide and train your prep team through the process.

Create a Tasklist to serve as your Line Check.

This one is a no-brainer. At the heart of every food safety program is a good line check. Is your food/equipment temping? Are your day labels good? Having a line check in HotSchedules allows you to alert managers when a food is out of the acceptable temp range, and even add pictures for your newbies who may not know what a quality product should look like. With the coming integration with Bluetooth thermometers, you won’t even have to walk the line to verify that everything is holding temp.

Create a Tasklist to serve as your Receiving Log.

Monetarily, you’ll want to ensure that you are receiving everything that you paid for. It is also important to ensure that you are receiving quality product that was delivered at the proper temperature, and that you are following all washing and storing procedures.

We all know that in a busy restaurant it can be hard for employees and managers to keep up with all of the hats they have to wear. Food Safety can easily be overlooked without a proactive plan in place. Utilizing the tools available to you in HotSchedules can help you create a program that is easy to access, easy to follow and easy to report on.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annie Smith works at HotSchedules as a dedicated Customer Success Manager. She uses her previous experience as a restaurant team member to help “serve those who serve others” in her current role. Smith has been a part of the HotSchedules family for over two years and is a constant representation of the company’s 5 core values: Service, Creativity, Family, Fun and Humility.

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