Ensuring safe temperatures throughout the cold food storage process is a top priority for all food handlers. For compliance with federal food safety regulations, companies need a quality management system to measure, control and document temperatures at all stages of the transportation process. To best ensure food arrives to consumers in uncompromised condition, using a data logger to track changes in temperature is critical. Data loggers report temperature metrics at set intervals to help monitor safe refrigerator or freezer conditions during the entire supply chain.
For best results, food handlers should consider an automated, network-connected data logger like T&D Corporation’s TR-7 or RTR-500 series options. These eliminate nearly all human elements of temperature monitoring through real-time data collection and tracking.
Automated data loggers like T&D’s work with the food handler’s schedule while eliminating risk. T&D loggers allow users to set a predetermined temperature range through a Bluetooth® or LAN connection that allows them to track temperature in real-time. If the temperature ever goes outside of the range, users are promptly notified to act.
Depending on the network infrastructure, T&D loggers can connect to the cloud through a wired LAN connection or WiFi. This can be extremely beneficial for larger, walk-in refrigerators where food handlers may want to manage a spot further away from the door or at multiple points inside. In the case of food transportation, cellular networks can be used to connect to data loggers in transit and continually monitor the internal temperature of truck.
Measuring temperature at multiple locations can be accomplished with T&D’s wireless loggers that connect using a 900 MHz signal instead of the average 2.4 GHz WiFi signal. These can be set up in multiple locations to transmit to the base unit or data collector. If the base unit or data collector is located too far from the walk-in refrigerator, or the walls of the refrigerator attenuate the signal, a signal repeater can be mounted on the outside wall of the walk-in. The repeater relays the signal to the data collector or base unit, which prevents signal interruption from the metal walls of the walk-in.
Food Safety and Modernization Act
Those storing cold food must understand the Food Safety and Modernization Act. FSMA states the federal government’s right to inspect any food handling location at any time. This means food handlers need records to prove safe temperature data over time.
T&D data loggers facilitate quicker compliance with FSMA regulations by carefully and accurately tracking appropriate data. In addition, T&D’s free WebStorage cloud service stores all temperature data in a way that’s easily retrievable and can be viewed at any time. This enables food handlers to show regulators their safe practices.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP)
FSMA also requires food handlers to develop a plan that meets the guidelines for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). Issues with data entry, misreading and misinformation are the responsibility of the food handler, and failure to comply with these guidelines can result in seizure, injunction and recalls—all of which can damage the reputation of the entire supply chain.
Food handlers must establish limits for each critical control point to adhere to HACCP, and T&D data loggers are essential for this adherence. Because T&D loggers alert users via email, text or push notification when temperature measurements go out of the set range, food handlers can be confident they’re meeting the data tracking and recording requirements of HACCP. Users know the exact moment temperature goes outside the safety range, allowing them to negate the risk of ruining supplies by fixing the problem in real-time.
The Case Against Contamination
With T&D’s TR-7 and RTR-500 series data loggers, many contamination issues are easily preventable. The company’s network-connected loggers can eliminate several food safety monitoring issues through temperature control, offsite monitoring, and notifications.
T&D loggers can also send notifications to four different addresses, including email, cell phone or Gmail distribution lists. Widely distributed data can ensure alerts are not missed, and contents within cold storage units will never be compromised.