France goes QR code in Paris and Avignon

For every food hygiene official control, an inspection report is issued and indicates if the restaurant is compliant with food hygiene regulations. These official controls are here to ensure that food placed on the market is safe to eat. In case of non-compliances, corrective actions must be taken by the person who owns or manages the business. 45 of the newly enacted French Law on the future of agriculture, food and forestry specifies that the results of official controls shall be made public in accordance with modalities which will be laid down by specific regulations, this is the transparency initiative.

This means food businesses’ compliance with the legal requirements will be visible to anyone, for the benefit of consumers but also of food business operators. That initiative will be a strong incentive for the food industry to continuously improve the sanitary conditions prevailing in their establishments, and will consequently allow them to be rewarded with positive outcomes of official controls.

Now the operators can download a QR-Code to display voluntarily on their storefront vitrine about this scheme. This QR-Code will be also given by the inspection services.

Heinz QR code links to porn

I’m all for marketing food safety at retail, and using QR codes could be one way to do it: but only if the data is there to back up claims, and if it doesn’t link to porn.

heinz.ketchup.pornGerman man Daniel Korell scanned a QR code on a bottle of Heinz ketchup, thinking he was accessing a promotion to design his own label, but instead was directed to a German porn site called Fundorado, reported.

It turns out the bottle had expired, and Heinz had allowed the website for the contest, which ran between 2012 and 2014, to expire. The porn site had since jumped in to claim the domain for itself.

“Your ketchup really isn’t for underage people,” Mr Korell wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “Even if the bottle was a leftover, it’s still in lots of households. It’s incomprehensible that you didn’t reserve the domain for one or two years. It really doesn’t cost the Earth.”

Heinz’s social media team replied: “We really regret the event very much and we’re happy to take your suggestions for how we implement future campaigns on board.”

Heinz also offered Mr Korell a free bottle of ketchup with a label of his own design by way of apology.

Sensing a marketing opportunity, Fundorado’s Facebook page chimed in, suggesting Heinz had confused their “Hot Pink” porn site with “Pink EZ Squirt” ketchup.

Pittsburgh: a disappointment in hockey and restaurant inspection disclosure

As Pittsburgh continues to grapple with restaurant inspection disclosure – or not — the town of Little Elm, Texas, has decided to add QR codes to the technology that is being utilized by its health services department, in order to help to improve efficiency when it comes to the effort to maintain transparency with restaurant inspection results.

QR-code-SCANVenger-Hunt-300x169Way to go Pittsburgh, you’ve been upstaged by Little Elm. Texas. That’s gotta hurt.

Through the use of this new system, it is possible for people to be able to scan the unique QR codes posted with the inspection signage for each restaurant. Upon scanning, the user will be directed to a website that contains the inspection notes that were made for the restaurant about which the mobile device user is inquiring. This system also allows the results of the inspections to be updated and distributed nearly immediately.

The QR codes based program is based on the same one that has become quite popular in nearby Plano.

The information about a restaurant’s inspection is updated by way of the QRcode as soon as it is complete. This way, residents and visitors to the town will be able to check on the latest scores for that restaurant within a matter of seconds. This, according to Mike Green, the community integrity director.

Green explained by providing an example that said “Let’s say we’re in the kitchen doing the inspection, and you pull into the parking lot of that restaurant,” adding that “As soon as we finish the inspection, the score changes online. You can literally see the newest score of the place you’re about to eat at while you’re in the parking lot.”

A growing number of municipalities are incorporating QR codes into their restaurant inspection systems as it is a highly cost efficient way to upload and share the information with the public.


Technology catches up: smartphone QR codes to be used in Pasadena restaurant grades, Longo’s beef in Canada

Chapman says QR barcodes are so … 2010.

I wanted to do the equivalent using a url so people could find out what went into a product back in 2000. some producers and companies are better at this food safety thing, and, as a consumer, I’d want to know that.

I can’t at retail.

But the technology is catching up to the idea, and in the past week, the Pasadena Department of Public Health announced that it will launch a new restaurant grade database and implement new restaurant rating placards including a QR barcode so diners can scan it with their smartphone and see more information about the restaurant’s inspection on the department’s new restaurant database.

The new restaurant inspection placards will display whether the restaurant passed, failed or passed conditionally, and will also display the numerical score out of 100 that the restaurant received.

Rather than using the letter grade system that the rest of Los Angeles County restaurants use, Pasadena has long used a numerical grading system. Previously, the scores were available online with a pass/fail notice in the window, however, this is the first time the numerical grade would be displayed in the window of a restaurant.

Retailer Longo’s in Ontario has partnered with VG Farms to provide local beef to all Longo’s and Market stores.

This will complete Longo’s offering of Ontario-raised meat, which up until this point included chicken, turkey, pork, lamb and veal. Rosanne Longo, brand ambassador for Longo’s, said the Toronto-area grocery chain searched long and hard to find the right beef farm to work with.

VG Farms is owned by the Van Groningen family. Up until now, VG Farms’ beef was only available at two family stores in Stoney Creek and Simcoe, Ont., in addition to small stores. This will be the first time the farm’s beef will be widely available.

“We’ve expanded our business because we identified that in the Ontario market there was nobody offering a true or authentic farm-to-fork program,” said Cory Van Groningen, owner and the eldest of the four brothers running the farm. “The program we’ve initiated with Longo’s is based on a lot of the best practices we’ve developed over the years.”

VG Farms uses a scientific method to measure the physical tenderness level of the beef, and each package features a QR code to allow shoppers to trace the Ontario farm where the cattle originated, its age and diet.

To familiarize themselves with the product, Van Groningen said 45 meat experts along with senior executives from Longo’s came out to VG Farms to take a tour and try the product for themselves.

Now include that food safety info. The technology is there.

AsureQuality releases smartphone food safety program

This looks potentially useful, depending on the depth of the microbial food safety information provided.

Food safety and biosecurity service provider, AsureQuality has developed the new website brand, inSight, which allows consumers to access independent evidence on the products that they are buying via their smartphone device.

inSight allocates a unique QR barcode to products that have undergone a supply chain assessment and obtained an “inSight licence.” The barcodes are then printed on product for consumers to scan with their mobile devices. Once the product has been scanned, consumers will be taken directly to the inSight website where they can view independent evidence about the product features prior to purchase.

Tenda Nutritional Foods recently launched its range of inSight branded infant formula products into the Chinese market, noting that the inclusion of the QR codes has created trust for its consumers by showing transparency, integrity and safety in the production process.

Mark Inglis, AsureQuailty’s sales and marketing manager said that inSight provides a crucial point of difference for products in the FMCG market, especially for those wishing

Features that consumers can check via the inSight website include environmental sustainability, ethical and animal welfare, nutrition, origin, organic status, and food quality and safety.

Restaurant inspection disclosure for Silicon Valley, Missouri

Is it mildly ironic that diners in Silicon Valley, the IT creative center for the world, are only now being offer data about restaurant inspections?

Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a motion requiring Department of Environmental Health to transcribe all health inspectors’ notes on its Restaurant-inspectionwebsite, so consumers can view specific violations and better understand reports.

The motion also requires the department evaluate potential scoring and placarding options which the health department will present to the board later this year.

It comes after an NBC Bay Area investigation exposed Santa Clara County’s restaurant inspection system was not holding restaurants accountable to the public.

Halfway across the country, St Peters, Missouri is considering adopting the latest Food and Drug Administration food code, in part to see how a restaurant scored on recent health inspections.

The new guidelines would require the health inspection sheets to be posted for all to see. Now, the food code only requires the restaurants to make inspection sheets available upon request, said Cheryl Hanks-Sinecki, director of Health and Recycling Services for St. Peters.

The city is now operating under state guidelines that were last issued in 1999. The FDA guidelines were last revised in 2009, but have received additional tweaks each year, Hanks-Sinecki said.

In addition, the city is considering posting the full reports online, instead of just posting the score. St. Louis County posts restaurant inspections online in a searchable database. St. Charles County posted the full reports online for a 6 month period in 2011, but no longer does so. 

St. Charles County last year started giving restaurants a sticker with a QR code, which people with smart phones can scan that will take them to the restaurant’s most recent food inspection score.

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Forget letter grades in NY; QR codes next wave

New Yorkers will soon be able to learn if a restaurant is rat-infested or stores its food at unsafe temperatures with a wave of their cell phones — but they may have to do some legwork first.

A bill passed by the City Council Monday will require restaurants and other businesses regulated by the Health Department to post a “quick response” code by next year that can be scanned with a smartphone to pull up instant information about the business.

But the bar codes won’t be on the letter grades posted in restaurant windows. They’ll be inside, on permits that are often posted behind the bar.

Putting them on letter grades would cost more since it would mean printing the grades individually for each restaurant, but Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she’d like to eventually put codes in the window.

Grub Street asks, how many New Yorkers know, for example, what makes a “improperly constructed or located” food surface into a critical violation, anyhow? 

Texas town adding QR codes to restaurant inspection certificates

Plano, Texas will become the first city in the state to offer a Quick Response, or QR, code on the restaurant’s publicly-displayed permit.

In the report, above, by CBS 11′s JD Miles, the owner of the Bavarian Grill got it right when he said something approaching, I’ve been in business 18 years, all As with one B. I want to promote that.

Plano is allowing smartphone owners instant access to health information on the roughly 1,400 restaurants in the city.

Apps like Google’s ‘Goggles’ program can easily read the bar codes, which are supposed to be posted so customers can find them when they can’t see behind the kitchen door.