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Don't Gamble with Food Safety

Ian Duffield
Jan 17, 2020 6:47:11 AM

Gambling is big business, very big business, and casinos are typically the face of the gambling industry. At last count, the total annual revenue of U.S.-based casinos was around $80B, with Nevada leading the pack at around $12B.

There has been a steady growth in casinos across the United States in recent years, particularly those owned by Native American tribes. As the number of casinos has grown, so has competition. That’s one of the reasons you now see a multitude of formats and outlandish architectures and a variety of activities and attractions to entice the gambling public. No expense has been spared in creating the next level of amazing, but it takes more than flashing lights to attract customers who must also eat from time to time.

Most casinos take food very seriously and see it as a way to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Casinos today typically feature some variation on an all-you-can-eat buffet or very high-end white linen venues for their most serious visitors. What may not be obvious is that an average casino can have 15-20 separate eating venues inside its walls, each serving a different type of food or providing a particular level of service. Each of these venues draws on the services of perhaps 2-3 central food preparation areas, and the volume of food can boggle the mind.

Imagine if one of these food preparation areas was not quite as focused on food safety as its customers would expect. The impact on business could be very significant, even disastrous. There are some notable cases of entire casinos being shut down until the problem gets resolved.

With the potential positive and negative impact on business, it’s no wonder casino chefs are very well treated and, in fact, prized members of the management teams. With so many people to feed at all hours of the day and night, chefs are often responsible for more than just menus and food preparation, but often the entire end to end supply chain including procurement, receiving and inventory management.

Procurant is delighted to be working with a number of casino executive chefs who have implemented the SureCheck food safety solutions for temperature monitoring and checklist management. These applications ensure food storage and preparation is treated with the importance it deserves. All food safety data is captured electronically, in real-time rather than on paper after an event. HACCP processes can easily be audited, verified and validated.

So, next time you find yourself attending the concert of an ageing rock star or just dropping $20 in a slot machine, consider the complex operation of providing safe food to thousands of customers around the clock in a variety of forms and through multiple outlets. Casinos are the very definition of risk and reward, but I’m sure we can all agree that food safety is one area where we don’t want to gamble!

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