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Foodservice safety comes in many shapes and sizes

When thinking about the need for safety and hygiene in foodservice, you might think first of a busy restaurant kitchen: chefs and staff going purposefully from one task to another, pans steaming and sizzling, shouts of orders and ‘Service!’ as waiting staff rush to collect dishes.

Foodservice, of course, comprises so much more than the stereotypical busy kitchen. From delicatessens and sandwich shops, to coffee houses and bars, foodservice comprises a whole range of options for consumers.

For each there are specific challenges to make business run smoothly and safely. Turnaround times for customers will vary widely across different business types. The balance of ready-made and freshly prepared food will differ. In setups like coffee shops, it is the norm for food and drink to be prepared in the relatively narrow space behind the bar or counter, while the customer waits.

In all situations it is vital for businesses to know how to ensure safety and hygiene. While circumstances can differ across businesses, this blog has reported on the overarching importance of food hygiene to consumers. The experience may be different but, where food and drink are concerned, the expectations will remain broadly similar. Signs of shortcuts on hygienic practices will create the kind of bad impression that can make customers unlikely to return to your business – and likely to share their bad experiences with friends or online.

Events like the European Coffee Symposium (, taking place on 20-22 November 2012 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, give different sectors of the foodservice industry an opportunity to meet and discuss the important topics affecting their businesses. A number of sectors recently converged at the Hostelco ( event in Barcelona too.

Such gatherings help the foodservice industry as a whole to keep moving with economic changes, consumer demands and market trends. With so many factors affecting business, the seemingly straightforward issue of clean and safe practices could get overlooked.

Regardless of the sector, all foodservice businesses should keep in mind that there appears to be one particularly vital constant: cutting corners on food safety and hygiene will negatively impact your business.