Jason Webb, sales director at digital thermometer manufacturer Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI) has reacted to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday that foodservice sites in England will have to close at 10pm from tomorrow onwards.
Webb commented: “The one saving grace that the hospitality sector has now is that it’s been there and done that. Lockdown in March took everyone by surprise and no-one anticipated the longevity of it. Lessons will have been learned which will help withstand any sort of other restriction, curfew or lockdown.”
He believes that the industry needs to continue to adapt to survive: “Any spare time from day-to-day operations should be used to theoretically step outside and look back in to make change work for the better short, medium and long term. Some catering facilities did this at the height of lockdown by adapting to a delivery style service, which we were proud to support.
“However, with possible further restrictions and the winter months drawing in, it won’t be a surprise to see delivery orders rise again. This will demonstrate the challenges of keeping refrigeration temperatures steady during transit. The rigmarole of transporting food produce over long distances, sometimes overnight, can lead to perishable goods degrading quickly if they are not stored at the right temperatures.”
Webb advocated ways to reduce any possible danger: “Catering companies can mitigate the risk by using wireless thermometer loggers to track the temperature throughout the delivery process – this supported many catering companies as they entered unknown territory back in the spring. Alerts can be sent directly to those responsible should product temperatures reach high or low limits, or the refrigeration systems in the delivery vehicle fail. These accurate readings are instantly sent to a host device eliminating human error. This adds layers of reassurance and confidence during these challenging times, not to mention the fiscal benefits.
“During reduced use, catering staff will also need to re-evaluate their stock and delivery orders. Doing this will save money by cutting back on unnecessary waste and prevent unused food from spoiling in the fridges. Organisations should also be aware of the energy and cost savings they can create by managing the kitchen facilities more efficiently during periods of reduced use. For instance, a typical commercial refrigerator uses 70kWh per day, which amounts to 41% of electricity consumption across all key appliances within a catering service.”
He concluded: “Last time, the element of surprise was difficult for catering facilities to comprehend. With lessons learned, proactive steps in catering operations will keep people safe and any business free from health and safety dangers.”