As featured in the Finnish magazine ”Food and Health”, issue 1/2022
By: Matleena Autio
Most of commercial kitchens [in Finland] use a food service management system, that manages all essential functions in the kitchen from buying ingredients to delivering food. Taking care of special diets safely and efficiently is one important area in commercial kitchens. A food service management system helps to minimize the amount of human errors when planning, cooking, and serving special diets. In addition, you get nutritive calculations easily and reliably from the system for monitoring nutritional quality of food.
Special diets due to different reasons are starting to be an everyday thing in all commercial kitchens. The reasons for following special diets can be related to health, for example intestinal diseases, or different types of allergies or sensitivities. There are food limitations also related to different religions. In addition, the amount of vegetarians is increasing all the time.
Managing special diets requires planning and caution in the kitchen but you don’t need to be afraid of them. With a food service management system you can handle special diets systematically and efficiently. You will also pull through exceptional situations without panic, as all important information is easily accessible in the system.
Over half of the communities in Finland use JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System. In addition the system is in use in a notable amount of commercial kitchens both in Finland as well as internationally. JAMIX is a Finnish software system, and we have been working in the food service industry already for over 3 decades. The system is being developed continuously by listening to our customer’s needs.
Caution Is Emphasized With Special Diets
You always have to take special diets seriously and you have to respect the special diets of a customer without any doubts. For example special diets related to religion or ethical reason are very personal things and following them can be a very important part of the customer’s daily routines. In addition, food sensitivities are very individual. For example in lactose intolerance the amount of lactose the person can stand can vary remarkably. When one customer can stand dairy products containing lactose even some cups a day, another can have serious symptoms already from one portion containing only a tiny amount of lactose.
In the hectic kitchen environment it is not always easy to answer promptly and accurately to customers’ inquiries on the content of food. When information related to ingredients and recipes is available in JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System, you don’t need to find a certain cook or manager for the answer, as the information is as close as the nearest smart device with an internet connection.
Information On Allergens Safely And Easily Through the Food Service Management System
Diets where you avoid a certain food are burdening especially in public food services. Notification on allergy is always taken seriously in the kitchen. Even small amounts of an ingredient causing allergy usually results in removing that item from the allergy meal completely. The Food Law Regulation of the European Union requires notifying of certain allergens by highlighting them in the ingredients list. You have to notify allergens also for unpacked food either in writing or by providing a notification on where the information is available.
In JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System information on allergens in an item or a meal runs reliably through the system, and the information is easily available when you need it. You can also add information on diets to recipes in order to know to which special diet customers they are suitable for. In addition, the information runs reliably from ingredients and recipes to menus which you can publish directly online for your customers.
Maintaining allergen and diet information up-to-date in the system and checking the information on a regular basis is extremely important. Ingredients used in items may change which naturally might change their suitability for special diets.
Allergen Information by Manufacturers Directly From Synkka Service
Synkka is a centralized product information service by GS1 Finland. The manufacturers can register a huge amount of information on their product into Synkka. This information will be transmitted with GTIN code to wholesellers or food service management systems, for example. One important information you get from Synkka service is item specific allergens. You can also notify nutrition facts for items, as well as ingredient lists including highlighted allergens.
You can get allergen information, nutritional content, and ingredient lists from Synkka service directly into JAMIX System. The information can be set to be updated automatically. This way you will always have up-to-date information in the system on nutrition facts, and the allergens that have to be notified will be highlighted in the ingredients list. The manufacturer is always responsible for information that has been registered in the Synkka service.
Internal Meal Orders Safely And Efficiently To Customers With Special Diets
With a food service management software system you can also manage internal meal orders easily and reliably. It is important that making meal orders is easy, as you often make the orders in a hectic environment together with other chores. The kitchen receiving the orders has to be able to trust that the requisitions are correctly made with no need to check on the information in a routine manner.
In JAMIX System you can link dedicated menus including meal options to different groups of diners. The person making orders will see just the right options as a base for her own group. You will get versatile reports on requisitions from the system to support both production and packing, as well as delivery. You can also register additional information in the requisition – such as request on temperature for the production, or a door code to the driver.
Special Diet Is Sensitive Personal Data According To Data Protection Regulation
You need to consider special diets carefully also in possible delivery, display or service. You need to keep in mind that information related to health or conviction are personal sensitive data according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union. Gathering and keeping information on special diets is considered as maintaining a register on personal data which has its own regulations.
You need to take care in the kitchen that information on the diets of a customer is not be available to persons who don’t have the right to manage that information. In JAMIX Kitchen Intelligence System you can easily set what information a user can see. Only users who can login to the system will have access to the information. This way also the information related to special diets is better safe in the system than on post-it notes on the kitchen wall.
Food Service Management System Provides Orderliness For Managing Special Diets
Cooking special diet meals is often considered to be challenging and time consuming. With good planning, however, you will be able to control the work load and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day, as you will have the recipes that work saved in the system. Taking the recipes into a system often improves the nutritional quality of items, as well, as you can easily check the nutritional content of them.
Maintaining your special diet recipes in a food service management system also helps in unpredictable situations, for example when the food is prepared by a fill-in instead of the regular staff. When the recipes for special diets are ready in the system, you can fulfill even more unusual needs safely and with little effort. The customer can also rely on getting carefully planned meals suitable for her diet both looking at taste and nutrition. And the information related to the meal is easily available in the system.