Richard Cross, Sales Manager, UK
Up until four years ago, the legislation surrounding food safety in the UK did not dictate the need for companies to label their products to catalogue their ingredients accurately. It was precisely this system of ingredient monitoring that led to the loss of a life. The cause of demise was an anaphylactic reaction to the hidden sesame seeds, baked into the dough of the baguette that the customer purchased, which had no specific allergen information on its packaging. Natasha’s Law will be passed in the October of 2021 to avoid preventable cases such as this, where accurate labelling on food could save a life. Thus begins a new era for restaurants, and the food industry as a whole, where leaders are on the lookout for the best practices and technology that conform to the new legislation. SATO Europe, with smart printers built for the kitchen, is leading this era for a safer and more convenient dining experience by providing customers with potentially life-saving ingredient information printed on food labels.
Having operated within the food safety space globally for over 15 years, SATO has always strived to bring the latest technology to its clients who look to overcome the challenges in the management of nutritional information, and subsequently, improve customer service and satisfaction. When kitchen staff migrate from their current format of operations into newer, automated methods, they often encounter difficulties in managing time efficiently. For example, creating labels that accurately enlist ingredient information as well as their expiry and refrigeration data, is too much of a workload to be done manually.
“The team has observed this dire need within restaurants, and has automated and sped up this labelling process to save hours, not just minutes, in managing the receipt, handling, storage and distribution of goods, via SATO’s third generation of smart printers—the FX3-LX,” says Richard Cross, Sales Manager of UK.
When ensuring that hundreds of stores comply with the same regulations, it is vital to have data stored centrally and readily accessible. The SATO App Storage—a cloud solution—centralizes all the food-related information that a client needs. This is especially handy for brand managers of cafés or restaurant chains to instantly make changes across all their stores while minimizing risks on errors. “We don’t want to create a brand new environment for our clients. Instead, we make sure that the existing data is available at their fingertips for easy monitoring,” continues Cross. The FX3-LX label printer, integrated with the SATO App Storage software, is a ‘one-piece solution’ designed to be used in kitchens. With a body that has anti-microbial coating, is splash proof, and has a touchscreen display that can be operated even when wearing gloves, the label printer morphs sophisticated technology into a user-friendly interface that fits the quick-moving, rugged kitchen environment. The ‘one-piece’ aspect of the printer refers to its ability to be independent of connections to a separate PC or tablet. Since everything the staff need is built into the printer itself, the freedom from cables or managing a wireless setup is a welcome relief in a bustling kitchen.
To understand the impact of SATO’s smart printer, Cross cites the case study of a client who played a vital role in the inception of Natasha’s law. Before the unfortunate incident occurred, the client—and many others like them—only provided consumers with a generic message instructing them to ask the staff for allergen information. After the law comes into being, however, there will be a need for companies to proactively label every product with exact details about its ingredient, within the kitchen itself. SATO partnered with the client and aggregated all their data stored on various cloud databases into a central cloud storage, and quickly reflected this data in printers at every one of the client’s 450 stores. Now, not only was the client reprieved of the painstaking task of updating their food data across multiple stores, but they could also focus on what they did best—preparing delicious, healthy food.
While managing nutritional and allergy information is an important task, it is not the limit of the FX3-LX’s functionality. In an often-temporary work world where staff turnover rates can be high, the printer offers various training videos that are quick and easy to use by anyone involved in the restaurant environment, whether students, part-time or foreign workers. From ingredient labelling, storage and preparation to distribution and consumption, SATO solutions respond to the most challenging demands in terms of food safety, internal process improvement and customer satisfaction.