Our May meeting was held at Hobart in Peterborough. This was a very well attended meeting, and following an excellent hot buffet on arrival, we were treated to a tour of the Hobart Demonstration Kitchen from Greg Crump.
Greg took us through the Hobart Minijet. This is a neat bit of kit, and is, in effect, the Hobart Precijet turned sideways. This allows a 1/1 GN pan to be loaded short side first, but still has the capacity and programme capability of the wider Precijet, which takes 1/1 GN trays long side first. Both machines feature self-cleaning programmes, where chemical is automatically dosed into the cavity, which reduces the need for staff to wear PPE. Additionally, the cleaning cycle can be programmed to occur overnight, so there is no downtime.
We then moved into the meeting room where we had two presentations. The first was from Jacqui McPeake, Allergen Catering Specialist from Allergen Accreditation. Jacqui told us that 44 per cent of adults suffer from at least one allergy and that in the 20 years to 2012, allergen-related admissions to hospital increased by 615 per cent. Of these admissions, 1 per cent were diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
Allergen Accreditation was formed to provide audit and accreditation of individual food premises’ allergen identification systems. They advise that nuts should be identified as the individual nut, (almond, pecan…) and the source of gluten should be identified, (wheat, barley, rye…) They carry out a physical audit of the premises to identify any potential cross-contamination risks, and advise on ways of eliminating them.
Staff training policies are examined to ensure that they are adequate and that all changes are passed through the system (e.g. daily briefing of counter staff prior to commencement of service). Premises with a ‘pass’ are given a certificate to display, which is valid for three years from the date of issue.
Our next presentation was from Chris Mansell, Technical Sales Executive at Hobart. Chris showed a short video of an ‘all in one’ flight dishwasher available from Hobart Warewashing. This has a pegged belt, which is the same as on flights, but there is a cutlery belt running alongside the pegs. Alongside that is a tray belt, which washes the trays, and this cuts down the run time for the machine and saves on water and detergent. Lowerator stacking equipment catches the trays as they come off the machine and once the lowerator is full, the tray belt stops until the lowerator is replaced with an empty one, but the crockery and cutlery belts continue to operate.
Our thanks go to Hobart UK at Peterborough for their excellent hospitality.
Trent’s June meeting was held at the Ringwood Hall Hotel near Chesterfield. This meeting was sponsored by G W Price Ltd, so many thanks to them for the hot buffet lunch and the goody bags.
We opened with a presentation from Ashley Wright, Business Manager for Swann Retail. He explained that he was updating the Branch on the latest developments regarding Manna Catering Software. Swann has purchased the Manna software from Oracle, (who had taken it over from Sandersons).
Manna now has a seven-days-a-week helpdesk for customers and is offering secure cloud hosting for backups, using rented space in a BT bunker, ‘somewhere in the Midlands’. The software itself has been given a front-to-back overhaul, and includes nutritional and allergen analysis, EPOS chip and pin till support, and a cashless module. Additionally, they can offer a range of tablets to facilitate ward ordering, connected by wi-fi or bluetooth. On the retail catering side, there is a full range of touchscreen tills, with live updating for changes in the menu, and fingerprint recognition for operatives.
There was then a general discussion on the sorting of waste, and how the increased costs of recyclable items could be absorbed or passed on. Brakes can offer the carbon footprint calculations as point of sale materials, so that customers can understand why they are being asked to pay more.