Automation benefits prepared meals businesses and the food industry in many ways, from higher productivity to increased quality and consistency. However, another important benefit is the ability to maximize food safety.
Preventing foodborne illnesses is a top priority for all food companies. Using food contaminated with harmful bacteria and mold, expired ingredients, and dirty food equipment can cause deadly illnesses, expensive recalls, and a tarnished brand. Fortunately, however, employing automated equipment can significantly increase the food safety of your food production process, allowing your company to stay a trusted name for customers. We’ll explore just how automation improves food safety and quality assurance. We’ll also go through how our dry applicator equipment at Quantum Technical Services can increase culinary safety for your business. Customer satisfaction is key, and that includes keeping products safe for consumption.
Food Safety, Quality Assurance, and Automation
It’s no surprise that automation has transformed and benefited many facets of the food industry. Conserved resources, improved quality control, scalability, and increased productivity are just some of the many benefits of automation. However, increased food safety and traceability are also considerable benefits that automation has brought to the food industry. With improved culinary safety measures through automation, quality assurance is consistent. Here are some ways that automation makes food safer and of higher quality for customers.
1. Minimized Staffing Requirements
Automated equipment requires less staffing than traditional manual food assembly. Employees managing the automated equipment are mostly required to oversee food assembly, regularly maintain the machines, and restock the ingredients. As a result, your products see a lot less contact with employees, which increases food safety and quality. Less staffing and more automation lead to fewer human errors and operating injuries, which leads to higher product quality and consistency. Less employee contact decreases the chance of employees passing foodborne illnesses onto the products as well. Even with less staffing, your company can count on consistent and top-quality products to provide to your customers.
2. Real-Time Monitoring
The real-time monitoring of any food assembly line is important in ensuring high-quality products. At Quantum, many machines in our selection of automated equipment have touch screens to monitor system diagnostics. This allows your team to identify any assembly line system error that can compromise the quality of the food. Unplanned downtime or machine errors can slow down the rate of ingredient turnover. Automation makes regularly monitoring your food assembly line and machine statuses straightforward. This simplifies improving food safety and quality assurance standards.
3. Easy Maintenance
Clean food equipment is necessary for keeping your food products safe for consumption. Our Quantum equipment is exceptionally easy to clean and maintain in-house, which further incentivizes staff to keep them up to safety standards. Having Quantum equipment simplifies maintenance in order to prevent ingredient, bacteria, and mold build-up to meet production and quality assurance standards.
4. High Ingredient Turnover
Another considerable benefit of automation is that there is an increase in productivity, meaning that there’s a high ingredient turnover. Because automated equipment can make upwards of thousands of products a day, ingredients aren’t sitting in machines or other workstations, potentially allowing them to expire faster. Automated prepared meal equipment increases food safety in this way. Faster ingredient turnover means improved quality assurance for your customers
5. Preparation for Shelf Life
Although food products may leave the manufacturing facility, prepared meals companies can still have an effect on how well their products are prepared for their shelf life. Luckily, automation has also made this step much easier for prepared food companies. At Quantum, we offer the QTWS Polycord Water Spray Conveyor that prepares meals for the freezing process, transportation, and shelf life. This type of automated machinery mists a light layer of water over products prior to the freezing process to protect the products and ensure thorough freezing. If products are not well prepared for transportation and their shelf lives, products run the risk of becoming spoiled, posing a health risk to consumers.
Minimized staffing requirements, real-time monitoring, easy maintenance, high ingredient turnover, and preparation for shelf life are all ways that automated equipment for prepared meals maximizes food safety and quality. Now, we’ll use dry applicators in our Quantum equipment selection as an example for demonstrating how automation improves safe food handling.
Example: Dry Applicators and Food Safety
At Quantum, our dry applicators for dry and granular ingredient application for prepared meals exemplify how automation improves safe food handling. Our automated dry and granular ingredient applicators QTGA1000 Series, QTGA5 Series, and QTGA3000 Series improve food assembly hygiene and product quality when operated and maintained correctly. These applicators can easily fit over existing assembly lines or become part of the assembly line, depending on the applicator model. Because they’re automated, they require minimal staffing for upkeep and restocking, ideal for minimizing handling and human errors. Our QTGA5 and QTGA3000 Series dry/granular ingredient applicators have large intuitive color touch screens for an easy user experience, and the QTGA5 Series has built-in system diagnostics for efficient system monitoring.
Our dry and granular ingredient applicators also simplify maintenance and improve ingredient turnover. At Quantum, we’re dedicated to easy-to-maintain equipment so your team can focus on making excellent products. Regular maintenance and quick in-house fixes are simple, and our QTGA1000 Series and QTGA3000 Series are both washdown compatible for easy comprehensive cleaning. Lastly, automating as many steps of your production process as possible improves ingredient turnover. This includes dry and granular ingredient application for your prepared meals. Since our dry/granular ingredient applicators are quick and ingredient efficient, our dry/granular ingredient applicators keep ingredients moving, which demonstrates our commitment to culinary safety and quality measures.
Automation has transformed the food industry in many ways, including food safety and quality assurance. Instead of new technology making operating practices more complex, it’s actually easier and more beneficial for businesses to incorporate automotive aspects into their production line in order to maintain good safety and quality practices. Using Quantum equipment can further simplify automation for your company.
Improving Food Safety With Quantum Equipment
At Quantum Technical Services, we’re committed to providing effective automated equipment for prepared meal manufacturing while maintaining ease of use and quality standards. We’re the most trusted name in automated meal equipment and can suggest automated solutions for your prepared meals business today.