Ensuring food safety when serving 81 million meals/year

Thursday, 17 March, 2016

Ensuring food safety when serving 81 million meals/year

Serving more than 81 million meals each year gives Disney a lot of experience in managing food safety and now the company is licensing its food safety system to outside restaurants and chains.

Every year Disney serves more than 81 million meals to visitors to its American theme parks and resorts. With so many meals it is vital that the company’s food safety policies and practices are robust and reliable as a high-profile food safety fail could prove disastrous.

More than 15 years ago, Disney began working with Motorola Solutions and others to devise a tracking system so it could track its ingredients from ‘farm to fork’. In late 2014, Zebra Technologies acquired Motorola Solutions’ enterprise business and continued working with Disney along with other companies including iCertainty and Versid.

Now, using custom software on mobile devices Disney can, for example, track milk from the point where it’s collected from the cow to when it becomes a Mickey-shaped ice-cream bar.

Zebra Technologies provides the hardware, which runs software built by Baltimore-based iCertainty on Zebra’s Android mobile computers. Food service workers use temperature probes that connect wirelessly to the mobile devices to track food throughout the preparation process. They also use the installed Disney CHEFS app to catalogue details such as whether employees wash their hands frequently.

The mobile food safety solution can now be licensed by hospitality establishments worldwide. Leveraging Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ safety technology and best practices, the Disney CHEFS food safety solution is suitable for large enterprises seeking to improve food safety, deliver a better customer experience and eliminate paper-based processes.

By using wireless temperature probes and Zebra’s MC40 mobile computers, the automated Disney CHEFS, powered by iCertainty software system, can provide real-time information on food safety performance — eliminating manual, time-intensive paper records for food safety audits and regulatory compliance. The vision behind creating Disney CHEFS was to build in the cultural competencies necessary to help deliver on guest service through standardised repeatable processes.

“Safety should always be an organisation’s number one focus. At Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, we believe it is our responsibility to share our safety technologies and best practices to increase the safety awareness of companies and agencies around the world,” Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chief Safety Officer and Vice President of Worldwide Safety Greg Hale said. “The Disney CHEFS system, powered by iCertainty, is being integrated across all our food service locations. With Disney CHEFS, we can continually improve our approach to food safety, taking us from hindsight to insight and foresight.”

System highlights

  • The Disney CHEFS solution follows the Hazards Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system’s international guidelines that identify the precautions that companies should take to keep food safe — and outlines controls and processes that should be followed to make sure these precautions are taken.
  • The software system can electronically monitor every aspect of preparation — from handwashing to cooking and storage temperatures.
  • Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has deployed the Disney CHEFS solution in more than 700 food and beverage locations throughout its US domestic parks and resorts, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland and Shanghai Disney Resort and is continuing its implementation with the Disney Cruise Line.
  • The Zebra MC40 provides one-touch access to all the HACCP checklists and procedures that employees are required to follow to maintain food safety.
  • The Disney CHEFS solution can also alert employees if food is not at an acceptable temperature or when critical measurements have not been recorded — helping avoid potential problems before they become an issue.

Disney CHEFS powered by iCertainty is a world-class standard for digital HACCP. It provides food service operators with powerful business insights to help reduce risk, drive compliance and improve operational efficiency. The system allows users to replace their outdated and unscalable paper tracking and reporting processes with a state-of-art mobile digital tool that eliminates paper, saves time and drives accountability.

The system provides users with measurability, scalability and top-down visibility into every aspect of food service operations, while driving down the cost of compliance. Operators gain real-time compliance oversight, on-demand employee task training and actionable insights. The software-hardware solution can help users to better comply with food safety regulations.

A Disney spokeswoman said the company was happy to offer best practices that can help others improve safety at their organisations.

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