The standard is being sponsored by the Foodservice Network and aims to create a performance standard that assists manufacturers in the design and development of Hot Food Display Cabinets, secures the safety of the food product for consumers and improves the overall convenience and efficiency of Hot Food to Go operations. With rapid innovation in the Hot Food to Go retail sector now underway, it is felt that a new equipment performance standard will help facilitate the safe and successful expansion of this food service market.
Why is there a need for a new Hot Food Display Equipment Standard?
The performance standard is being developed in response to the needs of food retailers who require Hot Food Display Units that are capable of holding hot food products under safe holding conditions. It is also being developed in response to the needs of consumers who require Hot Food products that are packaged appropriately and held under safe conditions prior to purchase. With a significant increase in the sale and purchase of hot food to go products, retailers and consumers alike require new food equipment and food operational standards that provide them with the necessary assurances for health and safety.
Preliminary research, conducted across a wide selection of food service operators in the quick-serve market, has revealed a general absence of understanding of the very different processes that hot food operations require. This is particularly the case regarding the relation between Hot Food Holding Equipment, Hot Food Packaging, Hot Food Product and the food service processes that would normally be seen to support these. A number of potentially serious issues have been identified, including: a.) use of inappropriate packaging, b.) use of incorrect heating and holding methods, c.) failure in equipment to maintain required temperature, d.) use of bespoke and adapted equipment with compromised functionality, e.) use of commercial hot holding equipment with design and functionality issues, f.) lack of operational standards regarding hot holding techniques and g.) ignorance by operators and service providers of hot holding product health and safety standards, amongst others.
The Hot Food To Go Market Expanded Rapidly
In summary, the rapid expansion of Hot Food to Go market and the accompanying introduction of novel techniques for food production, preservation and display, has allowed a commercial offering to be provided to consumers without appropriate levels of validation against standards that would normally be expected in the food service sector. With the Hot Food to Go market growing rapidly, it is time for manufacturers of equipment, food retail operators and food safety regulators to come together and establish a series of standards for the safe operations for Hot Food to Go.
Richard Taylor, Standards Market Development Director at BSI stated:
Having a specification in place will not only help improve the quality in these services (especially as the number of new entrants to the market increases) and improve standards, but also raise the reputation of the organisations that follow the guidance.
Mark McGlinn, Founder of the Foodservice Network commented: “The rapid increase in the design, manufacture and consumption of new hot food-to-go items, often packaged and held in hot holding units, may meet market demand but has as yet to receive the same careful scrutiny that chilled food-to-go items have."
"Although there is considerable understanding in the food service sector of the processes required for providing safe and healthy chilled food products to consumers in quick-serve environments, the same cannot be said for hot food to go items. It is probable that this lack of understanding relates both to the newness of the market being served and to the level of innovation and adaptation required of standard food service operations to meet this need. It is indeed well known that the Fast Food and Quick Serve market is projected to continue its rapid expansion and will, as a consequence, continue to introduce multiple new techniques and methods for the production and holding of hot food to go items."
"The development of a series of hot food equipment performance and operational standards that all food service retail companies and food equipment manufacturers can refer to and take guidance from is the best way of solving the many problems we are now seeing emerge. We need to work together to create new standards as soon as possible and we need to provide clear guidance to manufacturers and food service operators for a safe, efficient and quality hot food holding service that is good for consumers and service providers alike.”
What will the new Hot Food Display Cabinet BSI (PAS) cover?
What the new PAS will cover
• Performance requirements for Hot Food Product Display Equipment to ensure the provision of safe food product to consumers
• Performance requirements for Hot Food Product Display Equipment to ensure its safe operation
• Performance requirements for Hot Food Product Display Equipment referencing current UK and EU Health & Safety legislation
The PAS is expected to publish in January 2019 and will be developed using a collaborative consensus-based approach involving organisations from across the full food service sector (food equipment manufacturers, food production, food retail, food packaging, food safety regulators, amongst others.)
If you would like to know more about the development of this BSI (PAS) or would like to participate in its development, please Contact Us