🤯 It's a jungle of requirements, laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines to navigate when it comes to producing and selling food. In this article, we will provide some tips and tricks that will hopefully make it easier for you to navigate in this jungle.
⚠️ Please note! We wish we could say, "Follow this guide, and you'll get smiley faces on your next inspection," but unfortunately, it's not that simple. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) enforces various laws and regulations, and they may assess different aspects during each inspection. You are responsible for ensuring compliance with all requirements. It is crucial to focus on food safety to prevent any illnesses in your restaurant. This article is not a definitive solution but is intended to provide you with some basic tips and tricks.
In most cases, the hazards present in a kitchen can be effectively controlled through basic preconditions. Basic preconditions refer to individual requirements outlined in the regulations.
For a basic precondition to prevent or reduce hazards adequately, it is essential to plan and implement them based on where hazards can occur. This can be done by conducting a risk assessment. Risk assessments can be performed in Runwell's "Risk assessment" module. Go to the "HSE" module, select the "Risk assessments" tab, and start by adding risk factors by clicking "Add a risk." Read more about risk assessments here.
An example of a risk factor could be guests getting sick due to consuming allergens they are intolerant to. Assess the likelihood of this happening and the severity of the potential outcome. Then, implement actions to reduce the likelihood. You can describe the actions taken in the comment field and/or link the risk to tasks, courses, or procedures in Runwell.
Let's continue with the example of allergens. What actions are important to prevent guests from getting sick due to allergens? Here are some important actions:
Employee training (Create a dedicated course in Runwell)
Label self-produced food with its ingredients (Create tasks in Runwell linked to the food procedure)
Control the entire value chain from ordering to production. Ensure that the product does not contain the allergens you want to avoid.
Create an instruction to avoid cross-contamination (Include the instruction in your food procedure in Runwell or in the task descriptions)
Isolate allergen-free products during storage
Establish dedicated workstations
Avoid storing allergenic products on shelves above allergen-free workstations
Finally, it's important to note that your guests do not have a right to be served food at your establishment. If a customer states that they could become seriously ill and you cannot guarantee the absence of cross-contamination, it may be best to inform the guest that you cannot serve them.
You must ensure control over temperatures in fridges, freezers, thawing, and cooling processes at all times. There are few requirements regarding how or how often temperature measurements should be performed and documented. You need to conduct a risk assessment specific to your kitchen and develop an instruction/routine on how and when to perform these measurements based on your assessment. Create a risk assessment as described above.
Create "Report Number" tasks in Runwell's "Task Management Center." Set the frequency, responsibility, and description of the instruction/routine based on your risk assessment.
It is often appropriate to measure the temperature of refrigerators and freezers daily because you store a significant amount of food, and it is crucial to maintain the correct temperature.
Furthermore, you may believe that the chefs are not following the regulations for cooling (cooling from 60 degrees to 10 degrees within 2 hours). In that case, create an instruction/routine stating that chefs should document the cooling process in Runwell's "Task Management Center" every time. If you have a routine stating that it is not necessary as frequently, you can set up tasks that appear periodically (on a random sampling basis) to document compliance with the instruction/routine. The same applies to keeping warm and heat treatment documented.
Remember, the most important aspect is having good routines and ensuring they are actually followed.
Thorough cleaning is naturally important when handling food. It's essential to develop specific cleaning plans. However, having good checklists is not enough if nobody follows them. Therefore, create effective cleaning routines in Runwell's "Task Management Center" to assign tasks and monitor their completion.
How do I do it?
Go to "Tasks" in the menu, select "Add a new task," choose the task type "Group task." Then, input cleaning tasks with their description/routine, assign responsibility for the task, and set the time interval for when the task should be performed.
Tip: Highlight the cleaning routines in the risk assessment and describe what needs to be cleaned and when.
Delivery/Storage of Goods:
According to HACCP, you should be able to account for all the items you have in your kitchen. You should be able to trace them one step forward and one step backward, e.g., know who you sell to and who you buy from. The simplest way to do this is by storing all delivery notes. This can be easily done by adding your supplier in the "Service Providers" section and uploading a PDF/image of each delivery note under "Reports."
You should also have a routine for checking the temperature of refrigerated and frozen goods upon delivery. Conduct a risk assessment to determine how often you should check the temperature. If your risk assessment indicates that the temperature should be measured with every delivery, establish a routine for this and create temperature measurement tasks for each delivery. If your risk assessment suggests that this should be done on a random basis, create tasks that activate at regular intervals. It is advisable to create an instruction/routine that is included in the tasks.
Furthermore, it is important to store the goods in compliance with regulations. Freeze items in the freezer and refrigerate items that require cooling. Opened items or processed products should be labeled with the product name and freezing date. Remember to cover goods securely to prevent unintended contamination.
We hope this guide has inspired you to get started with food safety management! Feel free to contact our customer service if you have any questions.