Are you still relying on manual monitoring of fridge temperatures in your food business? If so, you have residual risk in your food safety programme.
Food businesses run the risk of perishable items becoming contaminated because of poor temperature control. Managing this risk involves complying with Australian food laws, and ensuring that potentially hazardous foods are kept at temperatures that prevent this from happening.
Implementing automated temperature monitoring for all your commercial refrigeration equipment takes the guesswork out of the process, and can help lower the chances of a mistake being made, and a customer falling ill.
So how much of an issue is food safety?
According to the NSW Food Authority, food poisoning can be caused by bacteria (such as salmonella or campylobacter), viruses (norovirus and hepatitis A for example), or toxins produced by certain types of bugs (including staphylococcus aureus).
An estimated 4.1 million people are affected by foodborne illness in Australia each year, and the cost of an illness outbreak can force a food business to close its doors.
What are the rules about food temperatures?
Australia’s food safety laws require perishable foods to be kept very cold (at 5°C or less) or very hot (60°C or above) to prevent contamination.
The risks of manual temperature checking
Fridges and cool rooms in food businesses should be set at less than 5°C, and checked at least twice a day to make sure the contents are being held at safe temperatures.
Manual checking of fridges/freezers/cool-rooms is common, but carries some risk.
For instance, there could have been a temporary power failure between checks that no one was aware of, the temperature gauge could be faulty, people can misread measurements or forget to record temperatures. And on a very busy day, the procedure might get overlooked or forgotten altogether!
The benefits of an automated system
Automated systems have digital thermometers built into sensors, and temperatures are continuously monitored 24×7. Unlike competitors, CCP uses a smart tag. Business rules are stored on-board the smart tag; and when the tag determines an out-of-tolerance event, it immediately transmits an alert. That’s the proactive approach you need to reduce risk.
For example, if the system detects a rise in temperature to above 5°C for a pre-defined period, it will send a real alert notification via the web, email or SMS to you or a staff member. This lets you know there is a problem that needs immediate attention, no matter the time or where you happen to be. And with configuration
settings, CCP avoids false alarms generated by defrost cycles.
The benefits of automation include:
- Reliability, as there’s no risk of a manual checking error being made.
- As well as monitoring temperature, the system can capture other critical control point data (e.g. door open/close events, humidity, gas levels).
- With actionable business intelligence at your finger-tips, CCP empowers you to improve freshness, shelf-life, and safety of perishable food.
- Compliance with food safety regulations and records to support you HACCP food safety programme.
- Alignment with food industry best practices and innovation.
- Reduced time spent checking equipment, and greater peace of mind.
- Prevention of losses – reduce food waste, save money and protect reputation.
- Reduced risk of business disruptions, litigation and insurance claims.
A case in point
One owner of a NSW café [Link to: Get York Café Case Study] discovered the benefits of automated monitoring firsthand when he received an alert notification of a rise in fridge temperature. The alert was real; and it enabled the owner and his staff to quickly act. He estimated the system saved him $2,000. Had it not been in place, the café may have lost a lot of product, and experienced considerable business disruption.
Want to know more?
CCP’s automated temperature monitoring solution can be used for all types of cooling units, including fridges, chillers, cool-rooms and freezers; offering you peace of mind that food safety is being maintained in your business. To find out more, contact us.
Meta: Still manually monitoring the temperature of your commercial refrigeration equipment? Automating can save time and help ensure food safety is maintained.
LinkedIn: Own a food business? Here’s why you should consider installing automatic temperature monitoring for all your commercial refrigeration equipment.