Food safety is a public health concern. Irrespective of the food variety you deal with, it is imperative to ensure optimum safety for the end consumers. The Government of India has established the Protection of Food Adulteration Act, which entails businesses setting up an inspection system.
The pandemic has further harped on improving food safety mechanisms and developing best practices for the workforce to follow.
But several lapses are resulting in the end consumers consuming sub-par food. Most of it can be attributed to a weak monitoring system prevailing in the industry.
This article discusses the importance of a concrete process monitoring mechanism in the food industry and how it can have manifold benefits for businesses and consumers alike.
What is the foodservice industry?
The food industry refers to a myriad of service elements coming together as a single offering. It includes all the services, activities, and business functions that help businesses serve consumers. It includes the following –
- Restaurant services like dine-in, takeaways, and delivery
- Institutional food services, such as in schools, hospitals, and other similar places
- Specialty offerings, such as catering and food trucks.
Trends shaping the foodservice industry
Like in any other industry, some trends shape the way we look at the foodservice industry. The pandemic and the learnings from it are the key propellers behind some of these.
Here are some of the most notable trends shaping the foodservice industry –
- Higher emphasis on delivery.
- Rise of meal kits.
- Higher transparency.
- Sustainability will be the key.
- Smart kitchens.
- Higher emphasis on meeting process compliance.
- Higher outdoor seating arrangements and takeaways.
- Customers are more aware.
The importance of monitoring process compliance in the foodservice industry
We come across news of food brands receiving a lot of flak for serving sub-par food to their customers. Such developments can ruin years of hard work, brand-building, and the market share the brand has amassed.
Recalling food or a lawsuit can cause the business to lose thousands of dollars. Instead, setting up a sound monitoring compliance structure costs a fraction.
Here is why monitoring compliance is important for the foodservice industry –
- Streamlines the entire process
- Improves compliance with regulatory standards
- Ability to have better control on food temperature controls
- It makes collecting data easier.
- Reduces manual error
- It gives you the ability to discover potential outbreaks proactively.
Gaps and limitations that can be a hindrance in the foodservice industry
The foodservice suffers from a myriad of issues caused because of gaps and limitations in the actual processes. Here are some of them that have plagued it for a long time –
- Production can vary from one end of the spectrum to another.
- Lack of integration of innovative applications, advanced equipment, and better automation
- Inadequate or misplaced controls
- Lack of data for making informed decisions
- Manual monitoring is inefficient and takes time.
- Low productivity and efficiency
- Wrong labeling of products
- Management of solid and liquid waste can be haphazard.
Where do AI-powered checklists come into play and fill the gaps in the foodservice landscape?
Several organizations govern the way brands deal with food processing all around the world. For example, USFDA in the US and ‘The Bureau of Chemical Safety’ in Health Canada’s Food Directorate operates in Canada.
Everything aside, risk prioritization is the need of the hour. Given the pandemic, the emphasis on remote monitoring has skyrocketed, and more and more brands are looking to imbibe it in the foodservice industry.
Also, given the clumsy nature of manual surveillance, it is imperative for them to encash on technological advancements and adopt a newer, more secure system – an AI-powered checklist.
Yes, the newer tech will require a sizable investment, but the outflow is well worth it. It is a bastion of hope and would be a crusader in eliminating the risks associated with food-borne illness outbreaks.
Here is why we think that an AI-powered checklist can reshape the way we look at the foodservice industry
It eliminates the need for manual auditing
Letting humans handle a task gives rise to the possibility of overlooking certain aspects. It also increases the likelihood of errors while performing their jobs. It can inadvertently result in recalls due to sub-par product quality.
With AI-powered checklists, organizations get the benefit of a smart monitoring mechanism taking over the task. It eliminates the need for manual labor and informs you of the potential gaps in real-time.
Custom reporting is a possibility.
There can be times when a specific rule does not apply to the entire workforce. For example, some employees have breathing problems, and the management has allowed them to work without wearing masks. An AI-powered checklist is better equipped to track the same exception and reports the end user accordingly.
Compliance with industry and brand-specific rules in real-time
You can direct AI-powered checklists to cater to both industry and brand-specific rules and manage them both with the same efficiency. It allows the organization to better maintain their adherence to safety regulations without interrupting their operations.
Achieve stringent controls effortlessly.
It can often be difficult for humans to remodel the way they look at compliance. For an AI-powered checklist, it is a cakewalk. You can calibrate the software to behave specifically and push the limits effortlessly.
AI-powered checklists are the future of process compliance.
Global food safety system development is a work in progress, and we can safely state there is a long way to go. We can fill some current gaps with more targeted investment and better data usage. These gaps also convert into generating unwanted food-borne diseases. Also, poor governance exposes the brand to a higher chance of recalls.
At Wobot, we understand that the foodservice sector requires a sound compliance process to ensure optimum adherence and improving customer service. Here is how brands can benefit from our services –
- Cleanliness compliance with regular tracking
- Development of crowd analytics
- Manage SOP adherence
- Develop custom service reports
- Achieve higher safety compliance
Click here to understand how our AI-powered checklist can benefit your business.