food safety management system

Best Food Safety Software for Bakery Businesses: 7 Factors to Consider

The only thing that smells better than freshly baked goods is freshly baked goods at a bakery that prioritizes food ...

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The only thing that smells better than freshly baked goods is freshly baked goods at a bakery that prioritizes food safety.

From retail bakers who sell directly to customers in brick and mortar stores or through e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Walmart to bakeries that sell their products to other companies, practicing and maintaining food safety is critical.

Key points covered:

  1. When it comes to food safety for bakeries, good cleaning and sanitation practices to remove allergen residues from equipment and the food production environment is always at the top of the list.
  2. Food Safety and Quality Managers at bakeries should look for a food safety software that lets them:
    1. Customize specific checklists and logs
    2. Get a real-time overview of all your bakery locations’ food safety statuses
    3. Trace all your ingredients and products
    4. Schedule internal food safety audits
    5. Have easy access to food safety file storage
    6. Organize team members and assign roles and responsibilities
    7. Easily create a comprehensive HACCP system
  3. You can leverage the FoodDocs platform to streamline your bakery's food safety compliance and monitoring and traceability tasks throughout your entire baked goods production process.

Some businesses do this on paper while others seek out the best food safety software for bakeries. Regardless of your choice, food safety management can be challenging, so…

How can you manage food safety in your bakery?

In a Food Safety Magazine interview, Lee Sanders, the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the American Bakers Association, shared that:

There are many food safety issues with which bakers are concerned, including food defense, allergen control and sanitation programs, and criteria for shelf-stability, to name just a few.

In this new age of food defense awareness, bakers must be vigilant when they are sourcing ingredients and must factor in traceability systems…

Bakers have always been proactive when it comes to handling allergens… Good cleaning and sanitation practices to remove allergen residues from equipment and the food production environment is always at the top of the list.

Lee went on to say that the most important aspects of an effective sanitation program are:

  • Identifying cleaning task best practices
  • Training staff on sanitation best practices
  • Inspecting all bakery areas monthly (at least)
  • Identifying issues and taking corrective actions
  • Establishing and keeping an effective and up-to-date master sanitation schedule that tracks cleaning tasks and established frequency

The food safety activities that many bakeries we work with lined up with this industry insight.

A bakery worker smiling and prepping loaf pans for bread in the kitchen.

5 Real-world examples of food safety task lists that bakeries use

You’ll never find a bakery who only does temperature checks or only needs a receiving log. The operations of a bakery demand that you complete multiple food safety tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Especially when a bakery wants to be compliant with popular food safety standards such as FSSC, GMP, and BRC.

Our regular conversations with bakeries of all sizes proves that everyone’s food safety requirements are unique. Here are a few real-life examples from FoodDocs customers:

  1. Bakery 1 has approximately 50 employees and places a lot of emphasis on calibration, temperature, and cleaning logs. But they also have a handful of concentration checks, a glass and brittle plastics log, receiving logs, pH measurement, outbound (delivery) logs, and a pre-operation checklist that contains tasks to review if everything is properly stored and labeled and to ensure that staff is following best practices.
  2. Bakery 2 is a bakery with three locations that caters to both special events as well as online orders. Their team has regular tasks setup for cleaning, deliveries, and logging fridge and freezer temperatures.
  3. Bakery 3 is a two-location business with ~20 employees only has a few monitoring tasks related to cleaning, sanitation, and fridge and freezer temperatures.
  4. Bakery 4 has similar tasks for monitoring fridge and freezer temperatures, deliveries, and multiple cleaning checklists. But they’ve also got food safety tasks related to transportation temperature control.
  5. Bakery 5 has over five locations facility. Because their bakeries' food safety needs are highly nuanced, they’ve got around 40 tasks with staff needing to complete approximately 30% of them daily. Some of these tasks include daily pest control, temperature and humidity monitoring, product receiving and inspection, and first aid box inspection. This bakery also adheres to ISO standards and aims to obtain FSSC or BRC certification, so they conduct numerous checks based on those standards’ requirements.

Not being able to accomplish some, if not all, of the things above could result in an undesirable food safety inspection rating, increased chances of causing foodborne illnesses, and unnecessary food waste.

In an interview with Baking Business, Gina Reo, president of Quality Assurance Strategies, stated:

"There’s usually not a lot of investment in technology except in larger companies, so it’s very difficult for folks to manage all the regulations that are coming fast and furious."

You want to keep up regulations and deliver amazing bakery products. That’s why you’re reading this, and there’s a good chance that your bakery (or the bakery you work at) needs software to help your business improve its food safety compliance and make things like receiving logs and temperature checks, for example, easier to track.

Bakery owners or staff typically look for the best food safety software for bakeries because they have many different types of daily or weekly log sheets and monitoring checks to complete as well as audits to want to complete to stay compliant with food safety standards like Good Manufacturing Practices.

In short, bakeries need intuitive and flexible software that meets their specific needs.

If food safety is something you value for your bakery, then keep scrolling. We’ll show you exactly what the best food safety software should do for your bakery so that you:

  • Stay compliant with food safety regulations
  • Be confident when health inspectors show up
  • Digitize their paper-based food safety system
  • Streamline standard operating procedures to monitor food properly
  • Save time so that staff can spend more time on creating happy customers

A rack full of loaves on baking sheets in a bakery facility.

7 Important things Managers and Supervisors should look for in the best food safety software for bakeries

The key factors bakeries should consider are:

1. Being able to customize specific checklists and logs

Basic, out-of-the-box checklists and logs might be okay for other bakeries. But are they satisfactory for your bakery?

As you saw from the five bakery examples above, there are monitoring checks that overlap and there are ones that are unique to a single bakery. Even with the overlap, bakery staff might perform their checks in a specific way.

Let’s look at baked good product development for a minute. As an example, for any given recipe you’ll need checks at each stage of the baking process:

  1. Proofing: Temperature, humidity, duration, remarks
  2. Oven: Temperature, duration, remarks
  3. Cooling: Duration, result

Scale this across multiple bakery products a day by hand and you see how quickly these monitoring checks can blow through paper and get tougher to organize or store.

Bakery products can require time and temperature control to remain safe for prolonged periods of time to reduce the risk of foodborne pathogens. This includes baked goods that are topped with or contain TCS food (e.g., dairy products like cheeses).

So there’s arguably higher food safety risks that increase the need to have a sound bakery food safety system in place.

For other monitoring checks that bakery staff need to perform like sanitation and cleaning, equipment maintenance and pest control, the same challenges apply.

Equipment maintenance log at FoodDocs
Example of the equipment monitoring log in the FoodDocs mobile app, one of the many logs available to your bakery.

Tips for customizing checklists with our food safety software

You can overcome these monitoring challenges by getting a fully customizable food safety system with FoodDocs — no matter how specific your bakery’s operations are.

You’ll be able to choose from:

  • Pre-existing checklist templates
  • Detailed forms with a range of fields and frequencies
  • One-off tasks that team members only need to complete once

Bakery owners and quality or safety managers can also create corrective actions from scratch or customize them within the app based on your food safety needs.

The FoodDocs food safety software also gives you or a supervising team member more control with the ability to:

  • Pause or skip tasks: Make it possible to miss tasks when holidays, vacations, or emergencies arise to stay compliant.
  • Verify tasks remotely: Verify that your staff are properly completing monitoring task entries.
  • Add educational instructions: Ensure your team can complete monitoring tasks clearly and efficiently by adding detailed instructions to each one, accompanied with pictures or videos. (Pre-set monitoring tasks already have detailed instructions attached to help train your team.)

Once you’ve set up your food safety system in FoodDocs, all this is made easier with a mobile app that you can download for iOS or Android.

2. Having a real-time overview of all your bakery locations’ food safety statuses

Whether you’re a single- or multi-location bakery, you should be able to monitor your day-to-day food safety operations in a way that’s easy to understand.

As someone managing multiple locations, you’re always racing against the clock. There’s only so many hours in a day, let alone a work day, so finding ways to increase efficiency is critical to your bakery business’s success.

A real-time overview is one way to increase that efficiency. It gives bakery owners or managers the:

  • Power to see the food safety statuses of all their locations
  • Peace of mind to know that their operations are running safely without needing to be there physically
  • Comfort of knowing that they can see all of the monitoring logs and tasks completed at any time because they’re all digitized

From product development to fridge and freezer temperature checks (and everything in between), the best food safety software for bakeries should give you real-time overview capabilities.

Tips for using real-time overviews with our food safety software

FoodDocs’ FSMS gives you remote control.

No matter where you are, using our food safety desktop or mobile app lets you both follow task progress and gives you insights into which units or departments are having issues in a timely manner.

It removes the need to visit bakery locations on site if you’re unable, while helping you easily maintain food safety consistency across all relevant tasks.

Preview of the FoodDocs browser and mobile app synced up.

Preview of FoodDocs real-time overview and how it syncs between the desktop and mobile apps.

How? There are three relevant features that benefit bakeries:

Food safety traffic-light system

FoodDocs' Overview dashboard is built like a traffic light to give you a clear overview of your food safety status across bakery locations.

  • If everything is correct and completed on time, the color will be displayed in green. 🟢
  • If something needs your attention, the issue(s) will be displayed in yellow. 🟡
  • Locations with critical issues are displayed in red. 🔴

Department-, location-, and region-based overviews

As a bakery admin in your FoodDocs account and depending on what you need to know at any given time, you can choose to display different overviews at the:

  • Department level
  • Location level
  • Regional level

If you were monitoring bakery food safety record sheets manually, you’d have to go through all of them — even the ones that are “green”. But using the overview feature, you can focus your time on the exact locations and specific tasks that need addressing.

Monitoring logbook and task completion

If you want to see a detailed overview of your bakery’s completed tasks, open the monitoring logbook. Similar to the overview feature we described above, this helps food safety and quality managers save time from going on-site. It also helps them check task fulfillment, and find archived logs.

Another reason bakery staff love FoodDocs is being able to easily track all task completion details. This includes results, the person who performed the task, and the exact completion time. You even have the ability to add comments or improve the results accordingly.

Because of these overview and monitoring capabilities, we’ve found that FoodDocs customers save about 20% of their time every week on supervision. That’s one day per workweek that bakery owners and their staff can spend on providing higher-quality baked goods and experiences to customers.

Example of what your bakery's digital monitoring logbook could look like in FoodDocs' food safety platform.

Easy-to-find records and exportable data

Compared to a pen-and-paper food safety system, digital logs enable you to find historical data for your local authority or auditor in seconds. Plus, if you want to improve your bakery’s operations on a yearly or even quarterly basis, you can specify a date range for your monitoring log and export your data to a spreadsheet (CSV, XLSX).

3. Being able to trace all your ingredients and products

Bakeries should use food safety software that makes ingredient and product traceability easy. What this looks like could vary from bakery to bakery, but some examples include:

  • Batch sheets with the ability to add lot codes
  • Bakery traceability logs in case of a recall event
  • Easy and fast access to historical data for auditors or local authorities

As a bakery staff receiving goods and a safety or quality manager maintaining a compliant facility, you need to have confidence in your supply chain and procedures that guarantee food safety. This means being able to ask questions like is my bakery supplier:

  • Maintaining product temperatures?
  • Properly securing my shipments to prevent tampering?
  • Transporting baking ingredients or products in a clean vehicle?
  • Keeping my ingredients or products free from pests, dirt, moisture, or damage?

And then having a place to safely store those answers digitally in a quality control software for baked goods production.

Each product (or group of products) made in your bakery will have their own food safety requirements — from the moment of ingredient selection to the moment they reach the customer. That’s why traceability is such an integral part of an effective food safety system for bakeries.

Tips for traceability with our food safety software

FoodDocs’ bakery traceability system empowers your bakery with a tool that tracks ingredients and food items throughout your production supply chain.

Smart recipe book

The digital recipe book makes creating and managing your bakery’s recipe roster easier than ever. There’s no limit on the number of recipes and custom ingredients you can upload. Bakers can also include photo or video instructions for making each baked good to help train other bakers and enable them to work more independently.

Our complete bakery traceability system also generates an allergy matrix to automatically inform your team of any allergens in your baked good recipes (some of the most common being dairy products, nuts, and flour). Among bakeries, undeclared allergens are one of the most common reasons for recalls.

The smart recipe book also comes equipped with a calculation tool that helps bakery staff easily calculate ingredient quantities and plan accordingly based on your scheduled production or orders.

Use FoodDocs's Smart Recipe Book to organize your bakery's recipes and easily manage allergens.

All-in-one traceability

Once you’ve set up your smart recipe book, completing a traceability log is simple. How? When you’re planning your bakery production for the day or week, just select the batches you plan to use.

This will simultaneously complete a traceability log and, as a result, save your team from having to fill out monitoring checks twice. To make the process even faster, the FoodDocs mobile app has a built-in scanner that you can use with EAN or QR codes.

And in the case of a baked good recall, you can quickly pull up your digital traceability log, find the relevant product’s historical data by ingredient, product, batch, or expiry date, and provide the auditor or local authority to prove your bakery’s compliance.

A preview of FoodDocs' food traceability log on the desktop and mobile app.
FoodDocs' Traceability solution lets you plan production, complete traceability logs, automatically populate shelf-life dates based on previously filled data.

Track shelf-life dates

Properly labeling and storing products starts with accurate shelf-life dates. Our smart app pre-fills shelf-life dates on the traceability log automatically according to data you inserted previously. All you need to do is confirm the logs! This helps bakery staff maintain accurate shelf-life dates and reduce the frequency of human errors. (Don’t worry, you can change them if they’re different for a new production batch.)

This is just one more feature that helps save your team time on repetitive activities so that they can focus on more important things in the baking process.

4. Being able to schedule food safety audits

A staple of any great bakery is one that is compliant with food safety standards. Some bakeries, however, take the initiative to go one step further.

We shared about one bakery at the beginning of this article. Its team is striving to obtain their FSSC certification, for example, so choosing the best food safety software for them means having the option to conduct regular audits.

When the time comes for a real audit, this doesn’t just show auditors that you care about high food safety standards (as important as that is). What it also does is promote accountability among your bakery team and show them that food safety doesn’t need to be burdensome or boring.

FoodDocs food safety audit template
Preview of the FoodDocs browser app where you can create audits with custom questions based on the food safety standard(s) that your bakery is striving to maintain.

Tips for doing internal audits with our food safety software

The FoodDocs auditing tool makes it easier than ever for bakeries to:

  • Create a food safety audit: Conduct any food safety audit based on recognized standards (e.g., ISO 22000, FSSC, BRC, and SQF) and stay compliant.
  • Schedule regular food safety audits: Perform your monthly, quarterly, or yearly audits using any mobile device and remind members about your upcoming audits through notifications.
  • Complete audits personalized to your locations: Choose from different scoring formats depending on how food safety audits are done in your location. Your bakery staff can fill in “yes/no” checklists or scored questionnaires (i.e., correct/partly correct/incorrect, very dissatisfied to very satisfied).
  • Manage your bakery’s completed audits: Review results in one organized cloud storage and manage anything you need later on.

5. Having easy access food safety file storage

One of the greatest benefits of effective food safety systems is making up to hundreds of documents manageable.

A “mom and pop” bakery dealing with less than 10 monitoring checks a day is manageable with a manual paper-based system. But this traditional approach ceases to function when your bakery is conducting tens of checks per day. Food safety record sheets get messy, creased, ripped, and (worse) lost.

That’s just monitoring checks. Don’t forget there’s the bakery’s HACCP plan, food safety certificates, standard operating procedures, prerequisite programs, training materials… The list goes on!

Tips for file storage with our food safety software

FoodDocs keeps every single one of your bakery’s compliance documents in one place with safe and secure cloud storage.

Of course, you have access to these documents in the FoodDocs app — anytime, anywhere — so that when local authorities or auditors visit any of your bakery locations, you can provide whatever compliance documentation they need in a few clicks.

File storage > customize
Preview of the cloud file storage feature in the FoodDocs' food safety software where you organize and store every type of file you need for you bakery to stay compliant.

6. Being able to organize team members and assign specific roles and responsibilities

What good are food safety tasks if no one knows who’s supposed to complete them? Bakeries have a lot going on in their daily operations. Fridge and freezer checks, concentration checks, receiving logs, sanitation checklists, and so on and so on.

Quality managers and safety supervisors need to make it crystal clear to bakery staff who is responsible for completing each and every food safety task.

And the best food safety software for bakeries will make it easy to do exactly that.

  • Remove the guesswork by organizing team members into roles (e.g., management, cooks, cleaning, maintenance, delivery, customer service, etc.) so that everyone knows exactly what their responsibilities are when the quality manager assigns them to specific tasks.
  • Easily assign training- and certification-related tasks such as food handler training along with customizable frequency (e.g., after every five years).

Tips for organizing and assigning tasks with our food safety software

Bakery owners and quality managers use FoodDocs to completely remove the guesswork when it comes to achieving food safety compliance.

As you set up your bakery’s HACCP plan and monitoring system, you’ll be able to add team members and organize them into specific types of roles. For example:

  • Management
  • Bakers
  • Cleaning
  • Maintenance
  • Delivery
  • Customer Service

10-1 set up team ENG
Preview of the Setup page in FoodDocs where you can add team members, define role-based tasks, and have an overview of each person's food safety status.

When you create the bakery’s food safety tasks, FoodDocs ensures that each team member only sees the tasks that you’ve assigned them to on the exact day they need to complete them.

We understand bakeries like yours get busy which increases the chance of missing daily tasks. That’s why our mobile app will send team members smart notifications that remind them to complete their respective tasks on time.

7. Being able to easily create a comprehensive HACCP system

If you’re in the planning stages of opening a bakery, chances are you’re busy planning the launch, locking in staff hires, and building a marketing plan.

Oh, right! And making sure your bakery is compliant.

Given the time constraints that you can face in the early stages of your bakery business, the last thing you want to do is go through the manual process of writing a HACCP plan.

There are the pre-operational steps of establishing an interdisciplinary team, laying out product and marketing information, and constructing a commodity flow diagram. And once you’ve done that, there are the seven steps of actually writing the HACCP plan — from identifying and analyzing all the hazards and critical control points to creating corrective action procedures and establishing record-keeping.

It’s a lot.

Tips for fast compliance with our food safety software

If you’re just starting out and need a compliance management software for the baked goods in order to open, consider using FoodDocs to create your entire HACCP (complete with documentation) in an hour or less.

When you sign up, all you have to do is answer some simple questions about your bakery. You actually don’t need to type anything, since the process includes simple ON or OFF selection forms based on whatever is most relevant to your bakery operations.

1_HACCP Plan builder
One of the first pages you'll see in the FoodDocs app when starting to build your HACCP plan.

To speed up the process, our food safety software also uses pre-filled forms according to local regulations (based on the country you choose) and other similar companies’ data.

Bakeries using FoodDocs love the fact that it’s a fully customizable food safety system. While there are pre-set selections, you also have the ability to create new ones from scratch.

When it comes to cost, creating a digital HACCP plan is also beneficial for bakery owners or quality managers looking for the best food safety software because it’s up to 15x cheaper and 500x faster than traditional options.


Feel ready to choose the best food safety software for your bakery?

If you made it this far, you deserve a baked good! Seriously, though, choosing the best food safety software for your bakery is a big deal. It helps form the foundation on which your food safety will either thrive (or crumble) on.

We’ve talked to a lot of bakery owners, quality managers, and supervisors about what they look for in reliable, trustworthy food safety software. So we hope that these seven factors to consider help you on your journey to choosing the best one for your business.

When you’re ready, we’d love to learn more about your bakery business, give you a personalized walkthrough of FoodDocs food safety platform, and show you how it could be the right fit for you.

Overview - app and desktop - slaidile

What is FoodDocs (and why should bakers care)?

FoodDocs is a smart Food Safety Software that bakery owners, safety or quality managers, and their staff can use to quickly digitize food safety processes and:

  • Quickly comply with food safety standards such as HACCP, FSMA, GFSI, ISO 22000, and more
  • Give you 20% of your time back every week spent on supervision
  • Fully customize and easily monitor bakery tasks


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