Businesses shouldn’t turn a blind eye to food temperature monitoring, says Jason Webb, Director at Electronic Temperature Instruments.

From pubs and restaurants to corporate canteens, food and drink service providers will have been working around the clock to alter their designs to comply with social distancing measures and alleviate any anxieties of their returning workforce and customer base. However, they can ill-afford to turn a blind eye to food temperature monitoring.

The last thing any business wants as it re-opens its doors is to fail in this area. It risks the health of employees and any visitors and could have a serious impact on a its reputation. Right now, reputation is everything.

Responsibilities of kitchen operators Food operators have a duty of care to ensure no cross- contact or contamination takes place. They must prevent any items that come into contact with food transferring anything onto the food substance itself. Cross- contamination can endanger customers, sometimes in extreme cases. It occurs when bacteria or other potentially harmful micro-organisms are unintentionally transferred from one place to another – in this case, from one food item to another.

The ability to measure temperatures over various ranges throughout the food supply process is essential. Legislation dictates that certain operations should be conducted within legally set temperature parameters. This is dictated by a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan and may include temperatures relating to delivery, pre-cooking storage, or re-heating. Staff should be well-trained with suitable measures in place to protect a business, its workforce, and its customers. On-going reviews of food safety management systems to identify any risks is paramount.

What if something goes wrong? Systems should be put in place ensuring all food temperature recordings from fridges and freezers are regularly backed up. Every few hours food operators should receive live data and immediate alerts if temperatures go above critical limits. This ensures more accurate food temperature controls which improves safety and reduces food spoilage.

Real time temperature monitoring streamlines processes and procedures enabling catering facilities to act immediately should any unforeseen issues arise. This can be done via WiFi loggers which transmit data via the cloud which is stored locally on PCs and other devices. The data is then passed through a WiFi router to a computer regardless of where the user is based at that particular time. It then stays locally on a hard drive so the user can access real, live temperature monitoring data wherever they are in the world.

It’s important to consider the overall cost of a data logger. For example, is the software needed to download the data


included or is this an additional cost? If it needs batteries, are the batteries rechargeable or easily replaceable household batteries? Over a lifetime of use, these can add significantly to the cost and maintenance of logging temperature data.

“Real time temperature monitoring

streamlines processes and procedures enabling catering facilities to act

immediately should any unforeseen issues arise.”

Many food and drink service providers have been forced to adapt to delivery services throughout the pandemic. This can be said for a customer of ours which supplies more than 50,000 baked goods per week to sports stadiums, entertainment venues and leading luxury brands nationwide. After witnessing its entire sales revenue decimate overnight, it trialled a delivery service. It sent boxes of food products across the UK in different packaging and our wireless loggers helped test the temperature of the overnight couriers. This confirmed the internal packaging was insulated enough from any exposure to heat or cool meaning the items did not perish and was proceeded by data reviews, ensuring they were all in the right temperature parameters.

Catering facilities across all industries and sectors must adhere to food safety standards and regulations. Data loggers can play a crucial role. However, getting the basics right is fundamental and has never been so important.

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