Pasta Evangelists was established in 2016 when it launched restaurant-quality recipe kits offering fresh artisanal pasta and high-quality sauces. It is now the biggest pasta brand by revenue in the UK.
In 2020, it began offering hot restaurant standard meals through a range of dishes and chef’s specials delivered by services such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat to customers within 20 minutes of placing an order.
Since its launch, the success of the home delivery service has seen it grow from a single kitchen unit in East London to more than 40 across the UK and a flagship restaurant at Harrods by mid-2023.
The rapid expansion of Pasta Evangelists nationwide network of kitchens supplying ready-to-eat meals directly to the home means that Quality and Safety Director, Debra Piergentili requires a comprehensive and robust food safety and health and safety system in place.
The challenge for Debra was to balance the needs of maintaining food, health and fire safety standards within an expanding business and growing workforce.
Having previously worked for two well-known High Street outlets in the UK and USA, she knew it was essential to have the proper support to deal with a growing number of locations and easy-to-follow safety systems.
Rob Easton, Head of Environmental Health, led the Shield Safety team: “A safety management system was required which did not impact a kitchen’s efficiency and was capable of being scaled to meet the business’s growth.
“The first thing to understand was what food safety, health and safety and fire safety policies Pasta Evangelists used in its kitchens. This gave us the knowledge to devise a set of policies, assessments and checklists to be the standard for use across the estate.”
“Our procedures need to be easily applied and it is essential for a growing organisation to have the same high standards across the business. I knew Shield Safety could help us. Having worked with them previously, I knew its safety framework and systems would give us the management procedures we needed. ”
Quality and Safety Director
Meeting Training Needs
Once Debra agreed with the suggested policies, the staff required training. Shield Safety created a training matrix to help Pasta Evangelists identify skill gaps and provide bespoke training aids, so kitchen staff understood their roles in recording and managing the new food, health and safety and fire safety systems.
Debra added: “Shield delivered a set of clear, easy-to-follow procedures and checks designed for our needs. As a safety review, we also asked Shield Safety to carry out fire risk assessments across our 40 kitchens to ensure we fully comply with the latest legalisation and best practices. It was impressive that Shield Safety could complete the safety training and a full fire assessment review within a month.”
Transparency and Control
To manage the new procedures, Debra turned to Shield Safety’s RiskProof smart software system.
“When instigating new procedures, carrying on using the paper-based recording system was pointless. Such a system can lead to errors and is ultimately impossible to monitor from a distance.
“With kitchen teams using tablets to enter data, it made sense to use Shield Safety’s cloud-based system RiskProof. It allows us to manage access to the information on a need-to-know basis so a kitchen or area manager can only see data relevant to their role. I can log in to RiskProof and choose a date or time of day or select a location to see that all checks are complete and correctly recorded.
“Where RiskProof really benefits the business is being able to check on specifics such as knowing the temperature of certain ingredients when they were delivered, check that the fridges are at the right temperature, and whether a serving of a cooked sauce was at the correct temperature in any selected kitchen location.
“With a real-time dashboard and being able to create reports, I can check safety in my business at any point in time and identify and potentially answer any queries. It is beneficial when requesting information during inspections from the HSE, Environmental Health, or the Food Standards Agency,” Debra added.
Pasta Evangelists also use RiskProof’s Registry module to record and oversee fire safety activities such as fire extinguisher checks, extraction unit and canopy cleaning and electrical testing records. This information is vital in the safety management system and is also available to the fire officer on inspection visits.”
In its latest expansion Pasta Evangelists is opening a central production unit in London and Shield Safety has provided additional support for Debra:
“We are introducing new roles as we grow that require different skills from those we already have in-house. The opening of a production unit, which will supply other parts of the business, means we need to provide training in machinery safety and noise awareness as well as knowledge of material handling and forklift truck operation.
“Shield Safety has been able to offer expertise and practical advice in developing our standards with a robust health and safety system, risk assessments and a training needs framework and all achieved within a tightly defined timetable.”
Easy to Manage
Debra believes that Shield Safety’s software platform and consultancy, training and audit services gives Pasta Evangelists a robust system which is ideal for a growing multi-location business: “With Shield Safety, I have the food safety, health and safety and risk management system that enables me to ensure that all our sites are fully compliant and safe.
“We have seen how RiskProof and the services Shield Safety offers provides us with an easy-to-manage system which will provide us with the information we need to ensure the continued success of Pasta Evangelists.”
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