We all know that safety, quality and shelf life play a huge role in the food industry. And there is growing public awareness of these issues, not to mention the financial risks incurred when goods are damaged during transit, processing or storage.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point, or HACCP, is a practical, systematic management tool designed to ensure food safety. As food products move from the field through the processing plant to the table, contamination (microbial, chemical, or physical) may pose a health hazard. HACCP is a specific action plan to identify and control these hazards from entering the handling process, and to document the safety of food products. DeltaTRAK’s time/temperature monitoring instruments play an important role in HACCP programs to prevent dangerous levels of microbial contamination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code requires all businesses which handle, distribute or process food products to develop and implement a food safety plan based on the principles of HACCP.
Cool Down and Hot Food Handling
Food cool down provides a separate set of challenges based on time and temperature requirements. Prepared foods need to cool through the temperature danger zone to avoid bacterial growth, according to strict parameters as defined by 2009 FDA Food Code 3-501.14(A,B).
For food cool down:
- Core temperature of the cooked food must pass from 135°F (57°C) to 70°F (21°C) within a total of 2 hours or less, and
- Core temperature of cooked food must pass from 135°F (57°C) to 41°F (5°C) within a total of 6 hours or less.
Hot food handling, such as in a buffet line, also has strict regulations for safety reasons. Time is less important factor since temperature is held outside the danger zone to avoid bacterial growth. Temperature, however must be maintained according to FDA guidelines.
Time and Temperature Can Be The Enemy
Bacteria need specific environmental conditions to grow. Knowing what conditions kill bacteria in order to avoid its growth is critical for food safety. The temperature danger zone is defined between 41° and 135°F (5° and 57°C). It is within this range that food can easily become unsafe. Procedures for cooking, handling and storing food often cross through this danger zone, so it is important to monitor how long food was exposed to unsafe temperatures. The good news is that there are tools for monitoring food temperatures in almost any circumstance.
IMPORTANT: When measuring food temperatures during cooking or processing, it is mandatory to measure the core (internal) temperature of that food, not the surface, and to measure the thickest part.
DeltaTRAK’s FlashLink USB In-Transit Data Loggers are ideal management tools for monitoring temperature sensitive and perishable commodities as they travel through the cold chain, from produce and prepared foods, to chemicals and pharmaceuticals. This single-use Logger is equipped with a USB connection to easily upload data to the PC and provides temperature history information ranging from -40°C (-40°F) up to 65°C (150°F). The logger can be purchased in 5, 15, 45, and 75 day logging periods and its patented Shadow Log feature guarantees that trip temperature is available even if the operator fails to start the logger.
DeltaTRAK’s FlashLink USB Reusable Data Logger can monitor temperature sensitive commodities during transportation and storage or in processing environments. Its single, internal temperature sensor operates within a range of -40°F (-40°C) to 150°F (65°C). The USB connection allows for easy programming of the logger and downloading recorded data to a PC. The user can set up certain parameters, such as sampling intervals, high and low alarm limits, automatic or manual start-up, skip alarm and alarm delay, and to record data in loop mode or automatically stop when memory is full. Downloaded temperature history is displayed as a PDF document with a graph and summary data, such as highest and lowest temperatures reached, average temperature, time spent in alarm, degree minutes, and when the logger was started, stopped and downloaded.
Depended on by Fortune 500 companies and small businesses alike for quality control, DeltaTrak’s In-Transit Temperature Recorder, Model 16000-16502 and RoHS compliant Models 16000-1-16502-1, is a highly reliable, strip chart time and temperature recording instrument used to record environmental conditions encountered during storage and transportation of food, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and other temperature-sensitive commodities in refrigerated trucks, rail cars, ocean and air freight containers.
The FlashLink and FlashLink Pro are reusable, credit card sized electronic data loggers. This line of data loggers comes in a variety of temperature and temperature/humidity models with combinations of internal and external probes with temperature-resistant Teflon wires. The FlashLink and FlashLink Pro Data Loggers are housed in a shock-resistant, waterproof case to withstand rugged and wet environments. A green LED indicator flashes when the data logger is active, and a red LED indicator flashes when alarm conditions occur, alerting you to out of range conditions. The FlashLink Pro data logger has an LCD screen that lets you view current temperature, while the internal microprocessor memory does the temperature recording for you.
The FlashCheck Jumbo Display Waterproof Probe Thermometers are fast and accurate quality assurance tools. All are NSF certified and can be calibrated in the field. The display is large and easy to read. Each thermometer is rated IP56 waterproof.
Model 11063: This jumbo display, waterproof thermometer is the perfect tool for measuring food temperatures during cooking and holding. The needle tip probe was designed to produce a faster response when used in less dense foods per FDA Food Code 4-302.12(B).
- Needle Probe (Fastest Response Time – less than 6 seconds)
- Ideal for measuring “thin mass” food
- Excellent HACCP tool
The Waterproof Lollipop with auto-calibration, Min/Max Digital Thermometer (Model 11050) is ideal for commercial dishwashers. With its new auto-calibration feature and the thermometer’s min/max feature, users can quickly verify and quantify the final rinse temperature in commercial potwashers and dishwashers.
The Dishwasher Kit (Model 12214) ensures the minimum sanitizing temperature has been reached and helps to control use of energy for hot water generation, which can provide significant cost savings over T-Sticks and thermal labels.
ThermoTrace Waterproof Infrared Thermometer, Model 15036, (with laser guide) is a compact and affordable unit. It has a field of view of 8:1 and a temperature range of -4°F~662°F (-20°C~350°C). It is an ideal screening tool for monitoring temperature when it is not possible to use a probe thermometer. Use this infrared thermometer to quickly check surface temperatures of products in hard to reach areas such as inside refrigerated cases or other cold storage areas, or check food at salad bars and hot buffets.
The ThermoTrace Waterproof Infrared Thermometer, Model 15006 and 15006-40, is ideal in many environments because of its sturdy, waterproof construction.
It features a highly focused 15:1 field of view, plus two measuring modes: normal and continuous. Alarm limits can be set for high and low temperature readings, and a memory function holds up to 99 points of temperature data. These features make it a popular quality assurance tool.
Thermo-hygrometers are valuable preventive maintenance and quality assurance tools for checking temperature and relative humidity readings in greenhouses, broiler rooms, hatcheries, clean rooms, processing rooms and chemical labs. Both feature an LCD display, °F/°C switch and record minimum/maximum readings. The Pocket Type Thermo-Hygrometer, Model 13308, is a compact unit with a pocket clip on the back. The high visibility case means it won’t be lost in the lab or out in the field.
Model 24004 is a low-cost non-glass Pocket ISFET (Ion-Sensitive Field Effect Transistor) pH Meter featuring a virtually unbreakable silicon chip sensor that gives stable readings in seconds. The meter is IP65 splash proof-rated and is ideal in applications involving food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and environmental studies. The meter is capable of reading a single drop sample and stores dry requiring no storage solution. The meter’s easy to read LCD displays both pH and temperature and its reference electrode is replaceable further extending the product’s longevity.
Digital Thermocouple Thermometer Kit, Model 25002 is an expanded range, handheld instrument used by food service professionals and quality control inspectors to verify temperatures of foods and equipment throughout preparation, storage, and handling of food. The TCT kit gives you maximum durability and versatility that can be used in a variety of situations.
The Digital Thermocouple Thermometer Kit, Model 25002 includes a rugged plastic casing, 5 interchangeable K type probes, an extension cable, and the thermocouple thermometer base unit.
The TCT Kit includes 5 different probes for various types of applications to monitor temperatures from the deep fryer, the grill/griddle, or thin-mass foods such as chicken strips.
The FlashCheck Ruggy TCT Kit is used by the food service professionals and quality control inspectors to verify temperatures of foods and equipment throughout preparation, storage, and handling of food. It also can be used from the lab to the production floor. The kit includes the FlashCheck Thermocouple Thermometer, the boot (a protective enclosure), and probe.
The FlashCheck Ruggy is a sturdy armored construction encasing for the base unit. The FlashCheck Ruggy gives you maximum durability, versatility and protects the base from bumps or spills.
Use the Heat/Cool Cooking Thermometer, Model 26003, to view desired internal cooking temperature without ever opening the oven door. It removes all the guesswork because an alarm beeps when the pre-set temperature has been reached. It will also track the cooling rate of foods to ensure proper cool down temperatures. This unit comes with 2.5-feet heat-resistant teflon extension cable and 6.5in rugged stainless steel probe that measures up to 392°F!