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Pilot Improves Food Safety, Quality, Cost Savings 

July 26, 2021

QARetail Business Services – the services company of Ahold Delhaize USA – is cooking up great savings and bolstering food safety with an innovative new pilot program in partnership with two local brands. Since May 2021, 17 Ahold Delhaize USA brand stores have been using Bluetooth technology to monitor the quality and temperature of frying oil used to prepare deli staples like fried chicken, chicken wings and tater tots.  

Under the pilot, supported by the Quality Assurance team, participating brand stores are using handheld tablets, Bluetooth thermometers and sensors to track critical food temperatures and make accurate, data-based decisions about when to replace fryer oil.  

“Moving from a paper-based food safety and quality management system to a cloud-based one results in greater efficiencies within Fresh departments, which means store associates are able to save time and be more effective in serving customers,” said Charles Martin, Quality Assurance Director. “By using these new sensors, the brands are able to maintain the quality of the frying oil and get full use out of it while maintaining product quality.”  

For Charles, the program is a win-win.   

“We’re supporting the brands and the stores in becoming more efficient and effective in maintaining safe, high-quality food production,” he said. “We’ve got really deep insights into the daily activities of the department to ensure that products are meeting the important critical limits for safe food.”  

The precise tracking of temperature also helps save energy, in addition to lowering costs.   

“By just adding these sensors to confirm things are operating correctly you can reduce energy consumption, which delivers significant savings to retailers over the long term,” he said.  

Having access to accurate data and being able to oversee the cooking process in such a way further empowers retail associates, and Charles says he’s already seen a lot of buy-in from store teams.  

“We’re training associates to use the new tablets, Bluetooth thermometers and equipment, and they’re able to effectively execute the proper food safety and quality checks,” Charles added. “It really empowers them to be confident about our procedures and maintaining food safety and quality for our customers each and every day.”