H&S inspectors trial real-time remote-access system at pub

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Inspector gadget: food safety officers trial system that allows them to check compliance remotely and in real time
Inspector gadget: food safety officers trial system that allows them to check compliance remotely and in real time
A pub is one of five businesses involved in trials that could revolutionise the way food inspections are carried out in kitchens.

The pub, part of a multi-chain group, has been participating in the three-month trial that could allow by environmental health officers (EHOs) to monitor food preparation in real time, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) confirmed. Its identity, however, remains secret due to a non-disclosure agreement.

The trial could lead to digital technology being used by food businesses to manage hygiene practices in a way that could detect food safety problems sooner and potentially save time and money in the process. 

The FSA, in conjunction with digital food management company Checkit and Cambridge City Council, monitored the five businesses replacement of paper-based food safety management with a digital solution. 

Promising results

The FSA says the trial has produced promising results.

An EHO from Cambridge City Council inspected each business once a month during the study to see how the digital records matched with conditions at the premises.

The study is part of the FSA’s efforts to transform the way food businesses are regulated in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Director of the FSA’s future regulation programme Nina Purcell said: “This was a valuable study that was designed to see whether accessing data remotely from a food business could make inspections by local authorities more efficient and more effective."

Better track between inspections

She continued: “The businesses involved liked this type of technology and found it more efficient than the current paper-based system.

“Our colleagues at Cambridge City Council found that having the data was useful because it helped them form a view of how well the business was managed and keep a better track on businesses between inspections.

“We are currently redesigning the whole system for regulating food businesses and we envisage new technology as being integral to that new model.”

Related topics: Health & safety