Published on Sunday, 01 November 2015
Written by The Editors
Thermometers are required in commercial foodservice operations for tracking temperatures over a period of time in accordance with HACCP guidelines. The main goal is to cook, hold and serve food at safe and proper temperatures.
Here, Ray Soucie, president of RSA Inc., a Portland, Ore.–based foodservice consultant, discusses what operators should consider when choosing thermometers.
- Temperature monitoring requirements vary depending upon the demands of the operation. A small pizza place won’t need as many thermometers as a senior living community or school, where age-related risks come into play.
- Many stages of temperature monitoring exist among production kitchens cooking batches of food, such as catering operations, central commissaries that ship hot meals, or blast chilling and storing food for a day or two. This includes hot, cold and rethermalized food censoring. Blast chillers and walk-ins typically have built-in thermometers.
- Although most equipment includes built-in temperature monitoring devices, many health departments require separate shelf thermometers for added accuracy.
- Foodservice operators quickly cooling hot food should use a handheld probe to make sure proper
cooling temperatures are reached within 2½ hours.
- Universal temperature tracking systems
enable operators to check the entire kitchen while on-site or remotely. If temperatures go out of the prescribed range, alerts are received on a smartphone. This can protect an operation from losing thousands of dollars in inventory. These systems are suitable for hospitals that may want to track a variety of items, including reach-ins, holding cabinets, walk-ins and cooking equipment.
- We also recommend operators have handheld probe thermometers to spot-check serving lines and salad bars.
- Walk-ins located outside of a foodservice operation typically use a simple thermostat with a dial thermometer.
- Purchase thermometers that are easy to use and accurate. A thermocouple with a simple probe that works quickly and accurately will be used more often than a less reliable type.
- Operators need to be aware of options for different applications, such as waterproof thermometers.
- Meat or probe thermometers are designed for more specific, tighter testing areas.
- Combi ovens come with built-in probes that are placed inside food, which ensures temperatures are safe and accurate.
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