Operations Leaders: Follow These Top IoT Tips for Food Safety and Loss Prevention

The Internet of Things (IoT) has changed how humans interact with technology for the better—particularly in the area of facility management, and its momentum is seemingly unstoppable. In the pursuit of increased efficiency, improved productivity, and reduced costs, worldwide IoT budgets have increased year-over-year by at least $40 billion since 2018. In 2020, IoT spending reached $749 billion; in 2022, global IoT spending is predicted to reach a whopping $1 trillion.

Investing in IoT is especially beneficial in the foodservice industry. The most successful restaurants, convenience stores, and food related businesses use a combination of safety programs, best practices, and cutting edge technology, like IoT, to prevent their products from becoming unsafe due to contamination. 

However, there are many limitations to standard food safety management procedures, including employee error, minimal data sampling, inaccurate data, and inaccessible records, which we discuss at length in the whitepaper, Better and Faster: Reinventing Food Safety Management with the Internet of Things. This is why it’s important for operations leaders to follow certain best practices when implementing IoT.

3 Management Tips When Implementing IoT

Many managers are pressured to do more in less time, making food safety and data collection more challenging. To make food safety easier and more attainable, here are three important tips for maintaining food safety when using IoT.

1. Embrace an IoT-enabled approach to food safety and loss prevention from day one.

Using an IoT-enabled approach to food safety and loss prevention reduces the time operational leaders and their teams spend on asset monitoring. By harnessing the power of real-time data and feedback loops, it’s possible to collect and act on real-time guidance for different storage environments. Simply put, when things like back-of-house freezers, customer-facing refrigerators, or ready-made food bars are operating outside of their acceptable temperature thresholds, it’s easier to immediately act so customers stay safe and loss is avoided.

Automation also reduces the burden on store managers. With automated data collection, there is no need to step away from the pressing demands of running a restaurant or convenience store to take data samples (a responsibility that can sometimes take hours). Data automation also helps eliminate clerical errors or pencil whipping, which can yield inaccurately recorded data points.

2. Use real-time alerts.

The Meat and Poultry Hotline advises that food should never be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. So when a walk-in cooler or freezer isn’t working properly, there can be serious consequences. Using real-time alerts ensures you catch failure before it happens. In addition, when food is not being stored or prepared at the proper temperatures or for the right amount of time, real-time escalating alerts make employees immediately aware of any problems.

3. Make a commitment to proper employee training.

Providing proper employee training when implementing IoT has huge benefits. In a previous blog, Employee Training is the First Line of Defense for Food Safety and Energy Reduction, we discussed why educating teams on the importance of temperature monitoring, food preservation, and task management is essential. When employees have greater visibility over refrigeration units, HVAC systems, lighting, and kitchen equipment, the team can shift from reactive to proactive equipment maintenance. A broader facility overview, paired with key insights into critical equipment, also enables employees to spot equipment issues in real-time so repairs can be made before catastrophic failures occur.


If organizational leaders want higher levels of return on investment, revenues, and customer satisfaction, it’s in their best interest to embrace IoT. By doing so, their organization can boost food safety, loss prevention, asset protection, and compliance efforts.

Learn more food safety tips made possible by IoT when you start a conversation with a member of our team.


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