If you operate within the cold chain, in production, transportation, as a food laboratory, or anywhere where you are responsible for food handling, you need to be in complete control of your business at all times. Even the slightest change in atmosphere can result in harmful (sometimes even deadly) bacteria spreading through your products.
As with all workplace hazards, prevention and preparation are absolutely key. Providing you are aware of the dangers and have sufficient protection methods in place, such as a digital monitoring system, you can ensure safe and effective service.
With a temperature monitoring system you can ensure produce is kept at the correct conditions throughout
If you decide not to set up measures for temperature control, you run the enormous risk that your products will be exposed to a number of disease-creating bacteria and pathogens. With most forms of bacteria forming through inadequate storing methods, there is no room to take chances.
If you are found to be liable for causing sickness to the general public, the consequences will be severe, both financially and in terms of the business’ reputation. As we saw recently with the tragic case of the Clock and Key Pub in Tristen, even a small-scale lapse can have devastating repercussions for all involved.
Here are three of the most common examples caused by temperature monitoring oversights.
This is one of the most common bacterial infections, and has become a notorious threat worldwide, so you would think people would have learned their lesson by now. And yet, time and time again, food vendors and preparation facilities throughout the UK and internationally fail to account for it when handling, storing and cooking food.
Salmonella is most commonly present in raw and undercooked eggs, poultry and meat but has also been found in fruit and vegetables that have become contaminated. Facilities which prepare milk should also be on the lookout as it has been known to gestate in unpasteurised milk.
Because the presence of this bacteria is dependent on how the food or dairy product in question is cooked, the temperature of your working environment needs to be stable and accurate at all times. If not, the disease has more of a chance to form and spread, which could land you in trouble if the contaminated product hits the shelves.
These lessons should be followed even if the laboratory is only handling raw foods, as rapid temperature fluctuations can still impact the integrity of the product.
Some food laboratories specialise in storing foods before they are transported somewhere or analysed. If these facilities cannot guarantee reliable temperature measurement then there is little point in their operation.
Correct storage is one of the most vital parts of food safety. If it is done incorrectly, the risk of contamination rises greatly, and jeopardises the whole business.
This is especially true with poultry and meat, as both are incredibly sensitive to temperature whether they are in storage or being cooked. Both are susceptible to Campylobacter bacteria, which is known to form during storage and causes cases of food poisoning if it is not eliminated in the cooking process.
Meat must be kept at the correct temperature at all stages of the storage and preparation process
Even in freezing temperatures the bacteria is not always completely eliminated, however, it is a good place to start. Freezers are one of the areas where a temperature monitoring system is most beneficial, as this can alert managers of any unplanned temperature changes, and ‘nip it in the bud’ so to speak, before it becomes a real issue.
While Campylobacter can survive freezing temperatures, Listeria can withstand the slightly warmer climate of a refrigerator, where most other illness-causing bacteria perish.
Although Listeria doesn’t quite have the range of Campylobacter and Salmonella when causing illness, it does target those who are vulnerable to sickness in general, meaning it still needs to be taken seriously.
Elderly people, pregnant women and young children are at particular risk of catching the disease, as are those who already have a compromised immune system.
Listeria mainly affects ready-to-eat foods that are commonly stored in the refrigerator, a place that people normally associate with food safety. As the appearance of this bacteria is heavily dependant on cooking, storing and reheating temperature, food laboratory managers need to be cautious at all times.
Again, as with all of these bacteria, as long as the appropriate processes are observed and preventive measures are put in place, food laboratories should be able to produce products that are safe and ready for human consumption.
About testo Food Safety
Testo offer our industry knowledge as well as a wide range of equipment for food safety which will help you meet your quality requirements and give you the reassurance you are storing and cooking your food safely. Our instruments include temperature monitoring systems, data loggers, thermometers, cooking oil testers, thermal cameras, PH meters and more.
Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, from farm to fork, Testo has the right instrument for the job. Want to find out more about testo food safety equipment? Why not visit our website www.testo.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.
Run, cycle, walk, help others: Register now to participate.
As you might have heard, Testo is turning 60 this year. To celebrate this outstanding landmark, Testo have decided to organise a worldwide charity challenge with the aim to become fitter as a team and to donate some of our profit for a good cause. In addition to the global Testo challenge we have decided to create a local challenge for all employees, family, friends, partners and everyone associated with Testo UK.
It is our goal for the UK Team Testo to achieve 25,000km of running, walking or cycling from by 22/09/2017. For every active kilometre achieved by our UK team, Testo Limited will donate £0.40 to the Treloar school and college for handicapped children. The maximum donation if we reach or overachieve our target will be £10,000.
A great challenge for a great cause
Treloar is an incredible organisation in Alton that helps more than 150 physically disabled children from all over the UK to learn and live an independent live. 80% of all students at Treloar’s suffer from a very challenging form of cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy and 50% have to communicate with the support from augmentative communication equipment. For those of you who have not heard about Treloar, please have a look at the following link: https://www.treloar.org.uk/
You can participate in this challenge by simply logging into our Testo charity challenge website and by linking any of the supported fitness devices (i.e. FitBit, Garmin, etc.) or apps (i.e. Apple Health, Runtastic, etc.)
Just to reiterate, you don’t need to donate any money yourself, all you need to do to support this amazing charity is register, then go out and start getting some kilometers under your belt!
So what are you waiting for?
Join Team Testo and motivate your colleagues, friends and family to participate too! Every kilometre counts and will increase our donation for this very good cause.
To logon to the Testo charity challenge, please click on the link: http://charitychallenge.testo.com/testouk/
Support us on social and help get others involved
We’d also love to see some pictures on our social channels, so please share with the hashtag #teamtesto and show your support. Below are the some of the early examples we’ve had so far.
Testo HVAC specialist Jon Bawden, looking a little hotter than usual
Anyone can get involved, every bit of input helps
This is a global challenge, here’s our friends from Testo Brazil getting stuck in
Testo are delighted to announce that we’ve today launched a brand-new range of ‘Smart’ thermal cameras.
Designed for contractors in HVAC, Facilities Maintenance, Electrical, Plant and Building Maintenance, these four new cameras are the ultimate diagnostic tool. Brand new innovative features make analysis even simpler. Together with instant customer reports, and an unbeatable price-performance ratio, this new range may well mark the right time to get involved for engineers who want to step up to a professional instrument or who haven’t yet embraced thermal imaging technology.
Below is an overview on the new cameras, pinpointing the key advantages.
Instant reporting for your customers
Testo’s new thermal cameras have the huge advantage of turning the user’s smartphone or tablet into a second display and a remote control (with the exception of the entry model testo 865).
Using the Testo Thermography App, available for iOS and Android devices, you can create reports quickly on site, save them online and send them directly to the customer via email.
Impeccable image quality
Testo’s new range of cameras provide fantastic performance at an affordable price. At a screen resolution of 160 x 120 pixels rising to 320 x 240 pixels in the testo 872, together with thermal sensitivity from 0.12 to 0.06°C, it means that you can see precise detail over a wide area, which is required for many applications. Low spec thermal images often provide unclear images, which don’t uncover the real issues. What’s more, with Testo ‘SuperResolution’ technology included as standard, this can even be further increased to 640 x 480 pixels, meaning no equivalent thermal camera has better image quality.
Testo cameras are renowned for their high quality image resolution
Smart Phone + Smart Tools = Smart Work
The testo 871 and testo 872 models can be also connected wirelessly to other instruments from the testo ‘Smart’ range.
Measurement values are shown in the thermal image and saved together with it. This makes other applications possible, for example:
Connection to the testo 605i Thermohygrometer Smart Probe allows you to get an accurate reading of the air temperature and relative humidity. This is useful to pinpoint exactly where damp spots are located in a building/room and to identify places where mould can grow easily.
Connection to the testo 770-3 Clamp Meter helps you identify at what load a switching cabinet is running. This provides better interpretation of temperature values with knowledge of power, current & voltage.
4 options – find a camera to suit you
Testo’s new range includes 4 cameras, each with their own set of features: the testo 865, testo 868, testo 871 and testo 872. Starting from just £799 RLP, they show that top quality “Made in Germany” and an attractive price are not mutually exclusive.
Whether you have never had a thermal imaging camera in your toolkit before or are looking to upgrade to the most modern solution available, there’s never been a better time to consider making the addition. Offering unparalleled performance and usability, Testo’s new range of Smart thermal cameras are designed to improve the workflow of HVAC technicians without breaking the bank.
Above is a short video overview of each of Testo’s new thermal imaging cameras
Smart Support Features
The new range of Testo thermal cameras have a range of new Smart support features to help users avoid common mistakes:
- Testo ɛ-Assist – Setting of emissivity and reflected temperature is indispensable for precise thermal images. The problem is, this is a time-consuming and, with regards to reflected temperature, less than accurate process. All this changes with the ‘testo ε-Assist’ function. By applying a special sticker (ε-marker) onto the measurement object, the integrated digital camera of the imager recognises it, measures both the emissivity and reflected temperature and sets both values automatically.
- Testo ScaleAssist – On existing thermal imaging cameras, temperature scales and the colouring of thermal images can be individually adapted. When looking at a thermal insulation behaviour of a building, this can lead to an incorrect interpretation. The newly developed ‘testo ScaleAssist’ function solves this problem by adjusting the colour distribution of the scale to the interior and exterior temperature of the measurement object and the difference between them. This ensures objectively comparable and error-free thermal images of the thermal insulation behaviour of a building.
- Testo IFOV-Warning – shows what can be measured accurately, based on a specific distance. This outlines when your Spatial Resolution is not good enough at certain distance, meaning you may not be able to see certain small details.
- Differential Temperature measurement – The user is able to identify the difference between two temperatures simultaneously.
Like some more information?
If you’d like some further information or you’ve got a requirement you’d like to discuss please feel free to contact us via www.testo.co.uk or +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.
For contactors in the Building, Facilities Maintenance, HVAC, and Electrical industries, the ability to visualise each situation you are facing can make a huge difference. Knowing precisely where to start with a job, can save time and effort, meaning you increase efficiency, and ultimately provide a faster service to customers.
Those 20-30 minutes extra spent diagnosing each job soon add up, particularly at busy times of the year when you’ve got a waiting list. With that in mind, a valuable addition to many contractors toolkit is a thermal imaging camera.
But what specific applications is a thermal camera most useful for?
Below we summarise some of the best examples where thermal imaging has time and time again, proved an extremely effective diagnostic tool for contractors:
Heating and installation systems
- Checking radiators for build-up of silt deposits
- Identifying underfloor heating abnormalities
- Identifying overloads, imminent malfunctions or existing defects in switching cabinets and wiring
Construction and Mould Assessment
- Visualising thermal bridges in buildings
- Detecting areas that are prone to mould
- Pinpointing thermal anomalies in leaking pipes
- Locating roof leaks
Structural and Insulation Defects
- Finding insulation defects
- Checking air tightness of windows and doors
Like some more information?
For more information on Thermography or any of please go to www.testo.co.uk. Alternatively, if you’ve got a requirement you’d like to discuss, you can contact us directly on +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.
Not all thermal images are the same. If you are using thermography for example to detect leakages, cold bridges, mould or overheated components, the details matter. These elements, as well as many others, only become visible from a resolution of 160 x 120 pixels. Every pixel is a measuring point, therefore the higher the resolution, the more accurately you measure. And when you measure more accurately, you detect irregularities earlier, avoiding unnecessary damage for you or your customer.
Screen resolution is hugely important for all types of thermography
Another big advantage of using a camera with exceptional resolution is that thermal images can be taken at far greater distances, without affecting the image quality. In addition to this, low spec thermal images can be unclear, and often don’t provide a true or accurate reading. It is for these reasons that many only consider thermal imaging from a resolution of 160 x…
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