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The core of food safety is centralised bakery facilities

There is generally little outside recognition for a well thought out and perfectly executed plan of food safety until there is the smallest gap in the journey from farm to fork. A gap that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) research confirms, can allow in a variety of bacteria, viruses, parasites, harmful toxins and chemicals to cause one of 250 foodborne diseases and that's when you will receive the sort of attention that you really don't want.

Centralised production facilities are at the core of bakery food safety. There are many advantages of a central bakery facility, but the reduction of the risk of food contamination remains one of the top benefits.

Having the high-risk food preparation activities taking place under one roof, means that the strictest control processes, procedures and measurements can be applied. When the food-safe product leaves the production facility, the future of its safety relies only on shelf life and routine monitoring procedures that ensure the correct temperatures are adhered too.

Join me on a food safety journey, from farm to fork, to experience the importance of traceability as a factor that food safety hinges tightly on.

Choosing your suppliers

There are a number of criteria that are applied when selecting appropriate suppliers, not least, good value for money; after all we are all in business to make a profit. However food safety and the necessary certification and accreditation are of paramount importance, so that clear accountability can be established through the supply chain. If contamination occurs at any point, this could result in costly product re-calls and severe reputational damage.

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Production processes

An infallible Food Safety Management System (FSMS) is an integral part of any supply chain process and requires constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure that it serves its objective of controlling the risks and hazards throughout the food processes as well as ensuring regulatory compliance.

A FSMS goes beyond your central facilities to assist your outlets/franchises to monitor and control each product, from receiving the par-baked and baked goods through to sale.

Food safety at a central bakery facility includes receiving raw materials within the correct temperature ranges, storing food items at the correct temperatures, averting cross-contamination, inhibiting foreign objects entering food production, sourcing the highest quality and most suitable packaging for your prepared items and packaging the food for delivery within the correct temperature range and within the appropriate time frame.

Transport to outlets

There are two options to handling transport from your production facility to your outlets, outsource or insource. With advantages and disadvantages to both, a deciding factor can simply be the expertise offered by a robust distribution service.

Choosing a distributor partner to deliver your products consistently, to your specific food safety requirements, maintaining a near-perfect on-time and order-reliability reputation is the ideal to strive for. The ability to trace your products easily from your production facility to your outlets keeps the journey documented and discrepancies easy to identify.

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Sale to the consumer

Once the product has been delivered to the outlet or franchise at the correct temperature and within the time period required, it is up to your onsite employees to ensure the products are defrosted and cooked or reheated to safe standards, that the display areas and equipment are fastidiously clean and that the sale of food happens at the correct temperatures within the shelf life of the product.

Regular inspections from the franchisors assists with ensuring that the basics are in place, that employees are carrying out their personal hygiene requirements of a clean uniform, regularly washed hands and wearing the appropriate headgear.

Constant engagement means that the Franchisor can respond to front-end needs with continuous improvements to the ordering portal, ensuring that all outlets or franchisees can locate their products easily on the ordering portal and can track the order data and product movements.

When it comes to food safety, the old idiom may change to “what the eye doesn’t see, the heart definitely will grieve over”, if short cuts are taken! Technological advances mean that there are constant innovations in the field of monitoring and food safety, so keeping abreast of these developments goes a long way to enhancing a robust supply chain management process.

Yours in food safety...
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About Alan Hockey

Alan Hockey is the Operations Director at Corner Bakery. With more than 10 years operational experience in senior management positions in the Momentum Group of companies, he left the corporate world to become an Executive Trainer and Business Consultant with a multi-national business process improvement consultancy. Alan leveraged his operational experience and business improvement consultancy skills into developing and refining the bakery operational processes and optimising the IT systems.