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How Restaurants and C-stores Can Deliver Safe, High-quality Food Offerings

MattToone_2 Matt Toone | Vice President, Sales & Solutions – Cold Chain

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Whether you’re a convenience store (c-store) operator, quick-service restaurant (QSR), or a fast casual or fine dining establishment, ensuring food quality and safety is imperative to your success. In this blog, the first of a three-part series based on a recent E360 article, Minimizing Food Safety Risks From Farm to Fork, I’ll explore the efforts involved in maintaining safety throughout the food supply chain.

How Restaurants and C-stores Can Deliver Safe, High-quality Food Offerings

Dining out has become an everyday part of American life. It’s estimated that more than one-third of us eat at a fast-food restaurant every day, and more than 60 percent have dinner at a restaurant at least once a week. As consumers are becoming increasingly discriminating about what they eat, restaurants are under more pressure to deliver fresh, healthy foods and in greater varieties. But, above all else, restaurant operators must ensure food is safe to eat.

Food’s journey to a customer’s plate (or a packaged take-out container) is fraught with hazards. Ensuring food safety is a cumulative effort shared by every stakeholder along the journey — from production and processing to transportation, cold storage and ultimately, the foodservice provider. Temperature deviations, unsafe handling practices and improper food preparation processes can all increase the potential for foodborne illness outbreaks.

Thankfully, improvements in refrigeration equipment and internet of things (IoT) technologies are helping to provide more reliable and consistent temperature and quality control within the cold chain. Throughout food’s journey, operators at each point are now able to monitor, control and track a variety of conditions necessary for preserving food quality, including: temperature, humidity, the presence of ripening agents, lighting and much more.

Meeting customer expectations

Modern restaurants and c-stores are being held to increasingly higher food safety and quality standards. Consumers and regulators alike are demanding greater transparency in the food supply chain, which includes improved traceability of food’s journey from farm to fork. To keep customers coming back, operators must not only consistently deliver safe, high-quality food but also openly disclose their suppliers.

Protecting against foodborne illness outbreaks helps to not only ensure your customers’ well-being, it also guards against potentially devastating impacts to your brand’s reputation and bottom-line profitability. As one of the final links in the food supply chain, restaurant operators must ensure that food is safe on receipt and adhere to safe food storage, handling and preparation processes in their kitchens.

This starts with understanding everything that contributes to food quality and safety throughout the cold chain. With today’s connected infrastructures and IoT-based monitoring and tracking capabilities, operators now have the potential for visibility into each step of the journey — even the possibility for comprehensive cold chain traceability. Then, once food has been received into inventory, this process continues by applying all the modern tools available to ensure food quality, safety and consistency.

Food supply chain safety is cumulative

It’s estimated that nearly half of the fresh fruit and one-third of the fresh vegetables consumed in the United States are sourced from foreign countries — transported by land, sea and air in a process that can span the point of harvest, processing, cold storage and distribution. Overseas shipments can last anywhere from two to four weeks; for domestic transportation, it can take three to four days to ship strawberries from California to the East Coast.

In total, these perishables can potentially undergo as many as 20 to 30 steps and multiple changes of ownership throughout the food supply chain process. The more these items change hands, or are staged, loaded and unloaded, the greater the chances for contamination and temperature excursions along the way.

In my next blog, I’ll take a closer look at the environmental factors and conditions putting food at risk as well as the food safety regulatory landscape.

 

Introducing the New E360 Content Hub!

The new E360 Content Hub consolidates our vast library of articles, case studies, white papers, videos, presentations and webinar archives in one place. You can access directly at Climate.Emerson.com/E360ContentHub.

Ed_McKiernan Ed McKiernan | President, Cold Chain, Electronics & Solutions

Emerson Commercial & Residential Solutions

Introducing the New E360 Content Hub

 

Quickly find the topics you’re looking for in one place

In 2014, we launched the E360 initiative to facilitate an industry-wide dialogue that would foster collaboration among stakeholders and address the many challenges facing HVACR today. Since that time, we’ve explored myriad topics which cover a full spectrum of issues and applications that our customers encounter at various points along the food cold chain. This has allowed us to amass a wealth of valuable, informative materials in a variety of formats — from articles, case studies and white papers to videos, presentations and webinars. With the introduction of our new E360 Content Hub, we’re happy to announce that all of these materials are in one place — with neither a charge nor subscription requirements for you.

Multiple ways to search for topics

By aggregating our vast library of E360 resource materials into one place, we’re providing easy access to in-depth industry information in multiple ways. The hub is designed to give you the ability to browse topics related to your specific areas of interest, or perform a targeted search. To help you find what you’re seeking, we’ve organized topics according to industry, topic, product or content type. Under each category you’ll find content further organized into the following relevant sub-categories.

Industry sub-categories:

  • Aftermarket
  • Convenience Store
  • Distribution and Transportation
  • Food Retail and Grocery
  • Mixed Retail
  • Processing and Industrial
  • Restaurants
  • Waste Disposal

Topic sub-categories:

  • Connectivity, IoT and Insights
  • Energy, Utility and Power Management
  • Food Quality and Safety
  • Innovation
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Refrigerants and Refrigeration Systems
  • Regulations
  • Safety
  • Sustainability
  • Trends

Product sub-categories:

  • Apps, Software and Services
  • Cargo Tracking
  • Commercial Refrigeration
  • Facility Controls and Electronics
  • Industrial Refrigeration
  • Monitoring Solutions
  • Temperature Management

As we continue on this E360 journey together, we will continue to facilitate this important industry dialogue and develop the content that helps us all understand and address the challenges before us. Whether you’re at your computer or on your smartphone, the E360 Content Hub puts the latest developments in HVACR and the food cold chain at your fingertips.

So be sure to add this site to your list of favorites, and welcome to the E360 Content Hub: our industry’s most robust and comprehensive information repository.

 

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