More choice means more food safety challenges for grocery industry and food retailers

Throughout the UK and Ireland food retailers, brands and service providers consistently strive towards the highest standards when it comes to the food products and services they provide on a daily basis. The grocery trade here is characterised not only by a level of service second to none, but also by the care and attention paid to the quality of food delivered to every customer at every interaction.  

This doesn’t happen by chance. Food retailers must invest time, effort and earnings on regulatory compliance, training, audits and inspections to ensure that they meet food safety requirements. safefood’s latest research has shown that this is very much front of mind for many food businesses. Their research has found that just under half of all small food businesses surveyed (45%) claimed that ‘food safety and ensuring compliance with regulations’ is their top priority. But almost two-thirds (64%) said they are extremely concerned about the impact of a poor food safety audit or enforcement on their business.  

This should be no surprise in a sector dominated by such high standards, but the concern is reflective of an environment that is growing in terms of greater demands. Today’s customers have higher expectations with more diverse dietary needs and a wider range of health and lifestyle preferences. In food retail increasing competitiveness, higher costs, and labour shortages all merge to present a multitude of challenges for management.  

Savvy store managers will be familiar with various tools of digital transformation that help to improve store efficiencies. One tool however that addresses these multiple challenges while maintaining compliance and food safety standards is digital HACCP.  

Whether across one or many stores, a digital HACCP system saves store managers and food handlers time by automating what are otherwise time-consuming, manual processes. A robust digital HACCP system uses a wireless temperature monitoring system to significantly reduce the time staff spend recording temperatures and completed food safety tasks.  

The system removes the need for paper folders and manual paper records and eliminates the risk of stock loss due to fridge or freezer temperature excursions using automated real-time alerts via SMS, email or voice message. Such a system will also make audits and inspections easier, as data and records are available at one touch using a touchscreen device.  

For operations across multiple locations, this is particularly useful for management to remotely access live or historical records for any store. Companies such as Kelsius ( deliver digital HACCP systems to food retailers large and small and can customise a system to suit the size and needs of any retailer.  

The food sector is constantly changing and growing. Store managers who look to grow their business should look to technologies such as digital HACCP to ensure that as their operations grow, they can rest assured that this is not at the cost of maintaining high levels of compliance and excellence in customer service.

Click here to learn how wireless temperature monitoring can help your food retail business.