The St Albans-based company led by food safety expert Dr Lisa Ackerley celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and launched Hawk last month; a system it says is the only one available on the UK market that comes with the full technical support of a specialist consultancy firm such as Hygiene Audit Systems.
The web-based system uses handheld and automatic monitoring devices to collect food safety data and then allows operators to view and control standards via the internet either on a PC, laptop, smart phone or tablet computer.
Inaccurate or falsified
Dr Ackerley, the managing director of the company, said Hawk would make the process of complying with food safety regulations easier and cheaper.
"Most companies have systems for food safety and due diligence but most of the time; they are paper-based, time-consuming, complex and costly. Senior managers don’t get to see them until after a problem has occurred and all too often, they are inaccurate or worse still, falsified," she said.
Ackerley, who has won several awards and made various media appearances on the subject of food safety, added that the switch to online from paper-based food safety systems had a range of benefits.
"By getting accurate information quickly to managers, from temperature and cleaning records to manager’s checks and pest control status, Hawk improves information flow, saves money on paper diaries, saves time on laborious form-filling and considerably improves control, efficiency and safety - all at the touch of a button," she said.
A dashboard display on the Hawk system allows users to view food safety points across the business and select specific locations to view faults. The system also contains alerts if checks have not been made and can compile task lists to ensure total control.
Hawk is currently being used in a number of John Lewis Partnership sites including John Lewis and Waitrose stores and Hygiene Audit Systems, which is also working with hotel chains, pubs and a Michelin-starred restaurant, said the system could be scaled for use by all sizes of hospitality businesses.