Top-level food safety is crucial for the Rax restaurant chain, where a varied all-day buffet is an important part of the offering. The chain takes care of food safety in many ways and uses Fredman’s Chefstein® as its digital kitchen management solution, tackling food and customer safety from many angles.
For commercial kitchens, it is of paramount importance that the food served to customers has been processed at the right temperature and that the correct food safety procedure is followed in terms of the cold chain, surface hygiene and transport packaging.
“We ensure food safety in many ways. Recipes are planned with the shelf-life of the ingredients in mind; and display times and containers are designed and planned to keep the food fresh and safe for customers,” says Ulla Heininen, Regional Manager at Rax Pizzabuffet.
From the customer’s perspective, the key thing is that cold food is served cold and hot food is served hot. This is one of the basic principles of food safety.
All Rax restaurants use Fredman’s digital kitchen management solution, Chefstein®, in their kitchens. Chefstein® was designed to help commercial kitchens ensure food safety as one of the critical areas of holistic kitchen management. In addition, it handles daily kitchen workflow, hygiene and food waste in a completely new, efficient way.
Generally, commercial kitchens get food safety-related alerts all the time. And that’s a good thing. For example, restaurants can receive automatic alerts whenever a cold room door has been left open and the temperature of the room starts to rise. When staff is able to respond to the situation promptly, no food goes to waste and money is saved.
“Technology makes everyday life much easier for our kitchens. It is now easier to produce and store data, and there’s no need for handwritten notes that can be easily lost,” says Heininen.
Chefstein® also sends reminders to restaurant staff about food safety measures, such as surface hygiene samples. When the prompted action has been completed, the results are automatically uploaded and stored in the system and can then be viewed by a regional manager at any time.
Just like at Rax, Chefstein® is also in place in over 500 other commercial kitchens. Across Finland, restaurants handle hundreds of food safety alerts per day in an effort to avoid food safety-related risks. Staff receive notifications and alerts that show, among other things, if the temperature of received goods is too high, indicating that the cold chain may have become broken. In such cases, the ingredients will not be accepted or served at the restaurant.
Working in a professional kitchen is hectic, and shift changes happen all the time. Good tools are essential to improve transparency and to ensure that nothing goes unnoticed.
Safety alerts can and should set in Chefstein® based on a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan that defines the restaurant’s target level. The lowest level is the level set by the food safety authorities, but the majority of commercial kitchens, including Rax, have higher targets. Food safety is clearly one of the reasons why Finland is ranked number one in the Global Food Security Index.