Food safety is as important as finding new and innovative solutions in curing harmful diseases. After all, food is what we put into our bodies, which means our bodies feel the immediate effects of it, good or bad.
For those who are part of the food industry, whether that be in restaurants, farms, grocery stores, or manufacturers, you know that food safety is always a top priority. In today’s advanced society, technology has helped the food industry in many ways—from artificial intelligence to tech tools that aid in cooking. Let’s explore some of the powerful tools and methods that ensure the food served on your plate is not only delicious but also clear for consumption.
- Vacuum-Sealed Cooking
Managing temperatures on a grill can be tricky and can sometimes affect quality and safety. In a fast-paced environment, it can be frustrating when a steak isn’t cooking fast enough. In that situation, it might be tempting to send out the steak undercooked to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Enter sous vide—a scientific method of cooking. Sous vide translates to “under vacuum.” Meats are safely cooked to perfect doneness in vacuum-sealed pouches lowered into temperature-controlled water using a precision cooker. After the meat is cooked, chefs sizzle it in a pan to brown the edges for the most satisfying crunch.
Undercooked meats, specifically, can cause serious harm to those who ingest it. Cooking ensures any bacteria is eliminating before consumption. This high-tech piece of machinery is an excellent addition to any kitchen as it is a win-win for food safety.
- Point-of-Sale Systems
It may not seem obvious as to why a point-of-sale (POS) system can aid in food safety when its main function is to run sale transactions. A POS system might not remove harmful bacteria or prepare food. But many also offer restaurant inventory management software.
Upon an initial inventory check at software implementation, and as meal orders come through, inventory is automatically updated. So, how does this relate to food safety? The system sends reminders when its time to reorder supplies. If you aren’t getting notifications on a particular supply, you might not be going through it fast enough before its expiration. Monitoring expiration dates allows you to avoid selling old food and enables you to catch food before it causes the nearby supplies to get compromised.
Believe it or not, irradiation is one of the most helpful pieces of food safety tech today. Low levels of ionizing radiation target harmful microorganisms in food, destroying it or making it inactive. It also aims at parasites and chemical toxins found in food material.
I know you’re probably looking at the word “radiation.” Don’t worry. The FDA regulates irradiation and only approves it for use when it is determined that it is safe to use.
So why use irradiation technology? It destroys or inactivates organisms harmful to our bodies, preventing foodborne illnesses while extending the shelf life of foods, which is important to note during inventory checks.
- Infrared Heating
Infrared heating is another type of modern tech that supports food safety. Infrared lamps are used as a pasteurizing method by emitting heat at low pressures. It can be utilized in the following cooking methods:
- Surface pasteurization,
- Thawing, and
This is a proven method of reducing and decontaminating bacteria found on the surface of fruits, pasta, bread, beans, and nuts. Similar to irradiation, utilizing infrared lamps can extend shelf life, but also reduce processing time and energy.
- Ohmic Heating
Another type of heating, the ohmic process, otherwise known as Joule heating, is particularly useful in ensuring consumption safety in liquid-based foods, like soups. Ohmic heating uses electrical currents to kill harmful bacteria found in food. It instantly sterilizes with its rapid and uniform heating and also helps maintain food quality. Meat stews, liquid egg products, or even packaged fruit and vegetable smoothies benefit from using this type of technology.
A Final Note
These are only five ways of how technology supports food safety. Beyond the heating methods, inventory control tools, and radiation are robots, software, and more—all of which can be beneficial to manufacturers, restaurant owners, farmers, and shops.
So create, maintain, and offer high-quality food by staying up-to-date with the latest in food safety tech. Your customer will surely appreciate it.