What if......?
August 11, 2022

What if……?

Maintaining a high level of food safety is essential for any business serving food, no matter how small or large you might be.  The most simple food products have the potential to cause harm if stored or handled incorrectly.  While most businesses may think they are doing “enough” to manage their food safety, is it really given the attention it deserves, and could it be done better, more efficiently or more effectively?

Let’s stop and think of some of the potential impacts of a food safety breach for example, what would happen if someone said your venue gave them food poisoning?

  • What If they leave a negative review online ?
    • Between 80 and 95 percent of people will review your business’s online reviews to decide whether or not to walk through your doors.
    • Businesses are at risk of losing 22% of consumers who would have bought from them when there is a negative review. This is based off just one review! If there are three or more negative business or restaurant reviews, the chance of losing customers jumps to 59.2%. Four or more negative reviews can turn as much as 70% of customers away.
    • This means you may lose new AND existing customers.
  • What If they report it to council
    • You may be subject to an inspection/audit and could potentially be shut down .
    • If not shut down immediately, you could be subject to more frequent audits and higher food licence fees.
  • What if someone dies?
    • Don’t think it can happen: estimated 4.1 million cases of food poisoning in Australia each year that result in 31,920 hospitalisations, 86 deaths and 1 million visits to doctors.

So what can you do to help reduce the risks – do you have the appropriate systems and records in place to defend your food safety program?

  • What if the product was unsafe when it was received from your supplier?
    • A “Delivered Goods” record will help identify if product is out of date or out of safe food temperature before it even comes in your door.
  • Has the food been stored correctly while in your refrigeration?
    • Daily temperature checks are great, but manual records are open to human error, even forgery, and they don’t help if you’re not onsite 24/7. If you are closed just one day, and there is a power outage for several hours, how will you know if your food is still safe?
    • Automated digital loggers can track your refrigeration temperatures continually and let you know when there is problem so preventative action can be taken.
  • If you are cooking and cooling foods before they’re served, do you have records to show that the 2/4 hour rule has been complied with?
    • Foods that are not correctly cooled in this time frame are high risk and should not be served.
  • When foods are being cooked or reheated, is the food tested to ensure it has reached the safe limit?
    • Foods that are not reheated to the correct temperature can contain high levels of unsafe bacteria.
  • Do you have an effective cleaning schedule and are staff following the procedures correctly?
    • In 2016, 97.5% of food outlets prosecuted in Brisbane included issues relating to “Cleanliness”  You should have a defined cleaning schedule and procedures for essential tasks to ensure nothing is overlooked.
  • Pest Control
    • It’s obvious that pests carry disease, so eliminating them from your premises is essential.
    • 90% of prosecutions in Brisbane in 2016 included “Animals and Pests” as part of the offence. You should engage a professional that provides certification of their service and have these records available for auditing.
  • Are all staff appropriately trained in Safe Food Practices
    • Do you have certificates on file for Food Safety Supervisors and other related training? Are the certificates up to date?

These are just a few of the records that will help you reduce the risks of a food safety incident in your business.  Where possible, it makes sense to automate and simplify tasks such as temperature logging to reduce your staff labour costs and free staff up for more rewarding, value adding tasks.  Taking your food records online to the digital world can help simplify data analysis to identify where further improvements can be made and improves their quality, accuracy, storage and access.


If you want help identifying the right digital food safety program for your business, contact Trinity Bond at EnviroChill on 0415 168 729 for a free initial consultation.