Monitor temperature and humidity conditions with data loggers
By Mary Vessele, Product Marketing Manager, Test & Measurement, Cole-Parmer
Did you know that monitoring temperature and humidity are an absolute necessity for food manufacturers? It is crucial to monitor the temperature and humidity during the processing, pasteurization, storage, and distribution phases to ensure the freshness and quality of foods. This seems like a given to me, after all, what manufacturer would want their products to arrive at the store spoiled or less than perfectly preserved? What I did not realize is that more recently food manufacturers are being motivated to adhere to strict guidelines ensuring a more prevention-focused approach to food safety versus the traditional reactionary.
The Food Safety Modernization Act
In the past, food manufacturers reacted to food contamination issues when the event occurred by holding mass recalls of contaminated products to protect the consumer. In 2011, The Food Safety Modernization Act was passed into law requiring food companies to have a food safety plan in place. The goal of the Food Safety Modernization Act is to try to prevent illness outbreaks resulting from human and animal food by forcing food manufacturers to do a better job of instilling safe manufacturing practices that prevent food born illnesses. The act gives the FDA more inspection authority and recall power enticing food manufacturers to either improve their operations with safer processes or risk being fined or shut down due to a lack of compliance in safety measures. The rule also extends to the transportation of food products to prevent practices during transportation that create food safety risks, such as failure to properly refrigerate food, inadequate cleaning of vehicles between loads, and failure to properly protect food. No longer is reacting to a food born illness enough to protect our cold chain. The FDA is now instilling strict demands upon manufactures to try to prevent the consumers from food contamination born illness.
Improve food safety with continuous monitoring
So how would a food manufacturer improve the safety of their food that is sensitive to the effects of changing temperatures during all of the different phases of the manufacturing and distribution process without having to invest in a time consuming, costly hard-wired system? Wouldn’t it be great if they could use the same technology for all phases of the manufacturing process to monitor the temperature and humidity of their goods? After all, if the FDA is going to pop in at any time to audit your process, wouldn’t you want to make sure you are following all the rules immediately in all stages of your process with a system that will allow you to pull data at any time and from any place? I would think that having your products monitored around the clock and being able to check the data to see that the correct temperature is being maintained would give you great peace of mind, especially when the FDA is involved.
The advantages of data loggers
When continuous temperature monitoring is needed, data loggers provide a more cost-effective option than hard-wired temperature sensors which can be time consuming and expensive. Data loggers are compact, battery operated sensors that continuously monitor temperature and relative humidity. They can be deployed immediately eliminating the need for installation. Many data loggers have the capability to download the data directly to your PC via the cloud or WIFI. Alarms are sent to mobile phones to alert food processors of any significant changes in temperature. This gives access to data 24/7 no matter where your product is in the process. The data loggers today can even be disposable so there is no need to return the data loggers to the manufacturer once the products have arrived at its destination.
To learn more about how our data loggers can protect your products, make your process safer and give you peace of mind please visit ColeParmer.com
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