Once in a while, however, this change comes from government legislation, and usually ends up creating significant evolution in the foodservice landscape. Some readers may remember the upheaval of the front of house model when smoking bans began nearly two decades ago, redesigning dining rooms and removing smoking and non-smoking sections of the restaurant.
Industry analysts are watching as a newly announced potential single-use plastics ban in Canada may create similar changes, especially in the fast food segment. In early June, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the government will ban single-use plastics as early as 2021 and introduce standards and targets for manufacturers of plastic products or those companies that sell items with plastic packaging.
Some chains, like Tim Horton’s and A&W, have started making changes to their supply chains in preparation
For the fast food industry, plastic has traditionally played a large role in the take out order, from plastic bags to straws, cutlery, plates, and stir sticks. In recent years, in recognition of mounting consumer pressure and the ongoing shift away from plastic, some chains have started making changes to their supply chains in preparation.
Whether it’s celebrating a milestone birthday or taking a casual cruise through the drive-thru, Americans prefer dining out over cooking a meal at home for the first time in history.
According to U.S. Census data, Americans spent more at bars and restaurants ($54.8 billion) last year than on groceries ($52.5 billion). Moreover, consumers have higher expectations about their dining experiences. They have come to expect fresh and diversified offerings creating a complex foodservice supply chain to deliver on the promise of more memorable experiences. Just think about how many self-proclaimed “foodies” share millions of food photos on Instagram each day!
Food Safety in a “foodie” culture
As this trend grows, one thing is for sure. American diners clearly expect food to be safe and place their trust in foodservice operators to provide a quality meal. However, foodborne illness outbreaks still happen. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 48 million people each year get sick from contaminated food in the United States alone—60% result from restaurant visits.
While there are many factors that lead to a foodborne illness outbreak (cross-contamination of food, employee illnesses), many foodservice companies are focusing their efforts on enhanced food traceability to increase confidence in the food being sold to loyal guests. To become more vigilant about food safety, the foodservice industry needs visibility and continuity of information across the supply chain. While many foodservice industry leaders recognize this as a priority, there is still much work to be done to ensure food can be tracked and traced from farm to table. Let’s explore how traceability works and what the industry is doing to ensure safety in today’s rapidly changing marketplace.
How traceability works
Traceability enables foodservice trading partners to track and trace product throughout the supply chain. It involves each trading partner collecting and maintaining product information that supports, at the very least, “one up/one down” visibility of the product’s movement through the distribution channel. When trading partners effectively implement internal and external traceability processes, each traceability partner is able to identify the direct source and direct recipient of traceable items.
Beyond food safety benefits
There are additional benefits to traceability beyond enhancing food safety. Traceability programs help deliver information transparency, particularly sourcing information as “locally grown” and animal welfare information as these are increasingly sought by those dining out. A recent study from the Center for Food Integrity showed that consumers want transparency around a company’s business practices just as much as food product labeling.
Also, the collaborative work done to enhance traceability has the added benefit of streamlining operations, leading to significant internal cost savings for all trading partners.
Through collaboration on traceability, the industry is building a solid foundation to enable foodservice companies to focus on other innovations to enhance the overall experience.
A survey of more than 200 chefs reveals some questionable food safety practices in restaurant kitchens.
Whenever you eat out, you’re doing it in good faith. You’re putting trust in that establishment; acting on the assumption that staff members take food safety seriously all along the supply chain. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know first-hand how serious the issue is.
A new study out of the University of Liverpool has revealed some questionable food safety practices in U.K. kitchens. Dubbed the Enigma Project, the researchers surveyed more than 200 chefs and uncovered some troubling behaviour.
The survey has revealed that:
a third of chefs had worked in kitchens which served meat ‘on the turn’
over 30% had worked in a kitchen within 48 hours of suffering from diarrhea and/or vomiting
16% had served barbecued chicken when not sure it was fully cooked
7% did not always wash their hands immediately after handling raw meat or fish
“Masking the smell and taste of meat on the turn is an old industry trick, and the ability to do it means restaurants can cut costs. Showing you can do it shows a potential employer you are experienced in the industry,” Prof. Daniel Rigby, one of the study’s lead authors, told ScienceDaily.
“Foodborne illnesses impose a huge burden to the population, and these results indicate a high prevalence of behaviours which can give people food poisoning.”
HAVI and Scania have agreed a partnership with McDonald’s to drive down the carbon footprint of the restaurant’s transport operations across several countries in Europe.
The intention is to significantly reduce diesel powered vehicles and shift approximately 70% of HAVI’s total truck fleet to alternative fuels such as gas and hybrid models, by 2021.
The collaboration will initially focus on Europe while similar approaches are also being explored for Asia.
The CO2 emissions in deliveries by HAVI to McDonald’s restaurants utilizing Scania’s next generation trucks and operating solutions will be continuously monitored in real time, bringing existing fleet connectivity to the next level.
This significant transformation of the fleet is expected to lead to CO2 reductions ranging from 15 to 40% for every kilometer driven, depending on route, fuel and traffic conditions.
The gas and hybrid trucks are designed to generate close to zero air pollution and significantly reduce carbon emissions in cities.
Additionally, HAVI and Scania are developing a truck with special equipment to collect waste such as used cooking oil, plastic materials and cardboard from restaurants for recycling.
The consequences of unsafe food can be serious and ISO’s food safety management standards help organizations identify and control food safety hazards. As many of today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries, International Standards are needed to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.
ISO 22000 specifies requirements for a food safety management system where an organization in the food chain needs to demonstrate its ability to control food safety hazards in order to ensure that food is safe at the time of human consumption.
It is applicable to all organizations, regardless of size, which are involved in any aspect of the food chain and want to implement systems that consistently provide safe products. The means of meeting any requirements of ISO 22000 can be accomplished through the use of internal and/or external resources.
ISO 22000 specifies requirements to enable an organization
to plan, implement, operate, maintain and update a food safety management system aimed at providing products that, according to their intended use, are safe for the consumer,
to demonstrate compliance with applicable statutory and regulatory food safety requirements,
to evaluate and assess customer requirements and demonstrate conformity with those mutually agreed customer requirements that relate to food safety, in order to enhance customer satisfaction,
to effectively communicate food safety issues to their suppliers, customers and relevant interested parties in the food chain,
to ensure that the organization conforms to its stated food safety policy,
to demonstrate such conformity to relevant interested parties, and
to seek certification or registration of its food safety management system by an external organization, or make a self-assessment or self-declaration of conformity to ISO 22000.
Food fraud is a $50 billion annual industry — and you’re probably eating some of the evidence.
From Kobe beef to Parmesan cheese, restaurants and grocery stores are packed with foods that aren’t quite what they seem. Food makers and retailers cutting corners and hiking up prices can result in feeding consumers some less-than-truthful marketing.
Now transparency is more important in the world of food than ever before. Consumers want to know what they’re eating — and they don’t respond well to being duped. Here are eight foods that might not be what you think they are.
About 99% of all wasabi sold in the US is fake, reports The Washington Post. The vast majority of wasabi consumed in America is simply a mix of horseradish, hot mustard, and green dye.
True wasabi is difficult to grow and extraordinarily expensive, costing $160 a kilogram at wholesale prices. If you’re eating real wasabi, you’re consuming the stem of a plant, grated and pulverized into a spicy paste. It reportedly has a more complex taste, but needs to be eaten immediately — within 15 minutes, the freshly grated wasabi begins to lose its signature flavor.
More than one-third of restaurants swap out lobster for more inexpensive substitutes in their dishes, reports Inside Edition. In February, the news organization ran DNA tests on lobster dishes from 28 restaurants across the country. Thirty-five percent of the samples contained cheaper seafood, such as whiting and langostino.
While langostino means “little lobster” in Spanish, the crustacean is more similar to a hermit crab — and less expensive than American lobsters.