Food safety is imperative for all restaurant chains, but thanks Testo’s range of measurement instruments and paperless quality management solutions, ensuring food safety in restaurants has never been easier. Testo key account manager for food solutions, Warren Mansfield-Smith, is a certified Food Service Professional and has a Level 3 Award in HACCP from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Warren recently spoke with Foodservice Equipment Journal to give his inside view on why measuring in the restaurant industry matters.
What sort of presence does Testo have in the UK today?
We have just celebrated our 60th birthday and continue to grow in the UK, with 2017 another record year both globally and locally. The food sector has long been one of Testo’s key markets, and with innovative new instruments being released every year, the UK foodservice market is continuing to recognise that with the right technology, they can not only reduce operating costs, but also increase efficiency.
How would you best summarise your current offering for the foodservice industry?
Testo provide a range of instruments and solutions for the foodservice sector. These include waterproof folding thermometers, wireless temperature monitoring with testo Saveris 2, the highly touted testo 270 cooking oil tester, and the newly released paperless quality management solution in testo Saveris Restaurant. We aim to provide the industry with the tools they need to be safe and legal with high levels of due diligence.
Testo provide a range of instruments and solutions for the foodservice sector
What sets Testo apart from other suppliers of food safety equipment and how well do you compete on price given that cost management is an issue for operators right now?
Testo is a premium brand and all our instruments are manufactured in accordance within the Guidelines for Uncertainty of Measurement (GUM). This means you can be sure that when we state the accuracy of an instrument, it’s guaranteed. It’s true there are a number of very cheaply manufactured instruments available on the market, however, it’s more than likely Testo products will last significantly longer due to the high quality standards we manufacture to. Ultimately, if operators are keen to reduce ongoing cost, they should look to invest in quality over quantity. Equally we have some innovative solutions which have proven to increase savings in terms of both costs and time.
You launched the ‘Testo Saveris Restaurant’ solution this year, which combines intuitive software and precise measurement technology. How significant is this development to your strategy?
After 60 years of growth in instrumentation manufacture, Testo realised the world has changed significantly. Technology has advanced at such an astonishing pace we need to adapt or we’ll not be providing our customers with the products and services they need. Testo Solutions is hugely significant in the history of testo and testo Saveris Restaurant is our first ‘solution’ and aimed at the companies in the food service sector to overcome the challenges they face on a daily basis.
What sort of engagement do you have with restaurant chains and multi-site operators – and do you see much discrepancy in the way that these companies individually deal with the food safety issue?
We deal with some of the largest restaurant chains on the planet and yes, there are discrepancies in how organisations manage food safety, some are happy with what they’ve got, while others are aware of the weaknesses of their current processes and are prepared to invest to improve, realising the long term cost benefit.
Up until now, quality management in restaurants has involved heaps of paperwork and manual documentation. How quickly will we see that change and what will drive it?
It’s changing rapidly and this is evident by the number of companies offering paperless systems. Operators should be mindful however that not all systems are the same. Testo has 60 years of expertise in measurement technology and offer, what we believe, to be the most comprehensive quality management solution available. Once operators realise how much they can save by reducing time, paper, storage and reporting to name a few, then I’m sure the transition to digital will become even quicker.
How can restaurants use modern quality management technology to avoid being the next food scandal?
Testo Saveris Restaurant converts your existing paper based quality checks into a digital format. Checks can be allocated to a particular shift and if not completed, an alert can be sent to the manager for instance. This way the operator knows the relevant checks have been completed and any corrective actions can be dealt with immediately. Temperature checks are automated and manual readings are transferred directly to the user control unit reducing the risk of error either accidentally or deliberately. The integrated digital camera can also be used to capture images as proof.
What are the consequences of not keeping accurate records?
Put simply, they could be catastrophic! Probably the most high profile case in the UK was where a woman died after eating Christmas dinner at a pub. It was found that records had been falsified resulting in jail for 2 of the pub employees and a £2million fine for the operator.
Chefs tend to look at HACCP as a bit of a necessary evil and investing in solutions for this part of the business is not as exciting as say a shiny new oven or the latest cooking suite. How do you overcome that?
A shiny new oven makes the chefs life easier, they can deliver high quality food, quickly and easily and that’s what we offer with Testo Saveris Restaurant. We make their life easier.
What’s the biggest misconception that operators have when it comes to buying equipment for food safety?
That it’s all the same! Just because it takes a temperature or you can connect it to a tablet, doesn’t mean it’s fit for the job. Chefs will pay hundreds of pounds for a set of knives but buy the cheapest thermometer they can find. It’s the old cliché… you get what you pay for.
What’s the ‘next big thing’ for the food safety instruments market?
Paperless quality management with systems such as testo Saveris Restaurant
Like some more info?
If you would like further information about testo Saveris Restaurant or any of our Food Safety instruments, please visit www.testo.co.uk or call us on 01420 544433