Quantification of Food Hygiene and Nutrition with Qualification of Official Control
QxQ is the acronym for Quantification of Food Hygiene and Nutrition with Qualification of Official Control (in catalan, Quantificació de la Higiene Alimentaria i Nutrició amb Qualificació del Control Oficial). It’s a project from The Balearic Islands Health Research Institute (IdISBa) within the program Innovatio 2017, which has the goal of helping to promote competitiveness in I+D+i in health in the Balearic Islands.
The QxQ project empowers the operators of the food chain so that they can carry out self-control of the sanitary hygiene status of their establishments and, through a scoring system, make food safety processes transparent for companies and users of the hotels, restaurants and catering industry (HORECA).
For this, the QxQ platform has a self-evaluation system for the establishments, which after validation by a public health technician, results in a rating available to be consulted by the user.
This system achieves a greater promotion of food safety and increases the efficiency of official control, by the inspector accompanying in real time the establishment to ensure continuous improvement of food safety measures through personalized recommendations.
What We Did
- Consulting session to organize and structure the needs and points of view of over 20 stakeholders from the public administration.
- Develop a scoring algorithm for the self-evaluation of the hospitality establishments, taking into account different protocols.
- Implement a back-office system to manage the establishments, self-evaluations, corrective measures and user profiles.
- Develop three different portals (establishments, public and admin) so that the different user profiles can interact with the platform according to their needs.
- Back office for the internal management of public health technicians – inspectors (public administration). The technology chosen for this piece is Nova, a Laravel framework (PHP) specially designed to digitize and automate the internal operations of companies and organizations.
- Responsive web application for HORECA establishments to carry out self-evaluations. Built with React, it’s an application where special attention has been paid to the UX.
- The public website where customers can review self-evaluation results and give feedback. It’s a web page made with React and integrated with the other two platforms.
Within the first month of being in production, a big hotel chain in the Balearic Islands started using the platform and conducting self-evaluations.
By digitizing the entire evaluation process of an establishment, an inspector’s visit time is cut in half, allowing them to focus on the exceptions (establishments with low scores or those that are not transparent).
3 Big Takeaways
- Our team has learned to work with government institutions, adapting to their needs, processes, and timings.
- We have gained experience in defining and designing a governmental digital solution out of vague initial requirements.
- We studied and learned about health regulations and public health management, as well as how to improve adherence and engagement of private entities to health safety processes.
- Improve the implantation of the self-evaluation system to all levels of the food industry and restaurant business, with the idea of extending it to other industries as well.
- Intending to consolidate the QxQ project, the principal investigator explores decentralizing the project from the public administration to the private food industry, distributing the data among them with permissionless access qxqempresa.info. In other words, using Distributed Ledger Technology or Blockchain Technology and presenting and defending the thesis “Evaluation of the Impact of a decentralized, distributed, and non-permissive information and communication technology platform for the quantification of the hygienic and sanitary self-control of the food chain in the Balearic Islands.”