In every grocery store, beyond the endless aisles of products and bustling shoppers, there's a well-orchestrated system in place to ensure that the food you purchase is safe and of the highest quality.
Food safety is not just a matter of legal compliance; it is a fundamental responsibility for anyone running a store. And almost as importantly – your customers need to be happy.
Internal controls: The devil lies in the details
Read more about Food safety in the EU
In a supermarket, every step requires attention to detail, from receiving deliveries to stock rotation and waste management.
Internal controls are the routines businesses have in place to comply with food safety regulations and to document that these are followed. For instance, the receipt of raw ingredients must be properly documented. The second you receive the goods, you are responsible for ensuring they remain at the right quality.
Temperature monitoring – the biggest pitfall
When it comes to storage, ingredients must be stored at temperatures that prevent bacterial growth. That makes refrigeration and freezing one of the cornerstones of food safety.
Maintaining appropriate temperatures not only prevents bacterial growth but also extends the shelf life of perishable goods. But in the fight against microorganisms, temperatures are typically the biggest pitfall.
If you're running a convenience store, you have to document that you're monitoring the temperature chain and that anomalies are being dealt with. The best way is to have automatic monitoring and digital documentation procedures.
IWMAC + Retail refrigeration
Hygiene is always important
Pandemic or not, hygiene and cleaning are always important.
Maintaining impeccable hygiene standards is paramount in preventing the spread of bacteria. Regular cleaning and sanitization of surfaces, equipment, and utensils are essential to eliminate potential sources of contamination.
Remember: Disposable gloves give a sense of false security – they do not provide enough protection alone. You still need to wash your hands properly, and you can still spread infections even if you wear gloves. Make sure you have documented routines in place for washing fabrics, equipment, and hands.
Little things add up to creating a good customer experience
Have you ever been in a store where you just didn’t feel quite right – without being able to put your finger on precisely why? When it comes to order, it is largely the subconscious that picks up on visual signals.
Are the products positioned with the labels facing the right way? Are there crumbs in the bread-slicing machine? These are small things individually, but together, they help to create the customer experience. If you have order, people will feel welcome.
But no matter how important clean floors and tidy shelves are, you should never forget that people are influenced by other people. Action is also interaction. So, the best thing you can do to make people happy and smile – is to smile at them first.
Do you have cooling systems that need monitoring, control, and follow-up?