Category Archives: Software

Automated temperature monitoring in the Secret Smokehouse

All food producers must adhere to numerous regulations, and standards, with the end goal of ensuring the quality and safety of food. A key requirement for HACCP and food safety is continuous temperature monitoring. This involves recording and documenting the temperatures of all fridges, freezers and areas where climate sensitive foods are stored.

The Secret Smokehouse supply high quality smoked fish to some of the UK’s top Michelin star chefs and restaurants, as well as Delhi’s and a small group of direct customers. A small, but rapidly growing operation, they were actually nominated for ‘Best Producer’ in the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2017, and are proud to work with the likes of Jamie Oliver, Claude Bosi and the Clove Club in Shoreditch, to name a few.

 

The challenge.

As a small-scale food producer, the EHO (Environmental Health Organisation) expect the business to be able to demonstrate how it manages HACCP and records what it does to make the food safe. A major part of this, is documentation of temperature values to show produce is stored correctly. The EHO also favour a method where they are able to see the checks have been done, without having to visit the premises physically each time.

Before implementing testo Saveris 2, Secret Smokehouse were checking temperature using a combination of spot checks with a thermometer and reading the fridge/freezer thermostats. This means all checks are done so manually, and recorded with a pen and paper. Also, as they have since discovered, fridge thermostats aren’t always completely accurate. When opening the fridge or freezer door, the temperature reading on the thermostat dropped very quickly. This would indicate the produce was at a high risk of not being stored correctly. The smokehouse suspected this might not reflect the true temperature drop, so wanted to explore installing a monitoring system to prove this.

The other issue with the previous methodology, was if there was an issue with a temperature deviation (from a loss of power or freezer door being left open for example), they wouldn’t know until the next check. This could be too late to save valuable stock.

This drove Max Bergius, owner of Secret Smokehouse, to explore options to simplify and, if possible, automate their temperature control. Research lead Max to Testo Saveris 2, with the standout advantages of using cloud software to demonstrate due diligence and the removal of taking measurements manually.

 

The solution.

Testo’s Saveris 2 is an automated temperature monitoring system that stores all measurement data in one central place. Multiple measuring points can be incorporated into the same system, meaning all fridges, freezers and storage locations are monitored simultaneously, with measurement data being transported directly to the cloud. This removes the need to collect data manually and the results can then be accessed by the dedicated person remotely, via PC, tablet or smartphone. This means there is no longer a potential for readings to go missing.

 

 

Testo Saveris 2 loggers are used to monitor temperature in refrigerators and a freezer.

 

In the Secret Smokehouse’s case, they are using a total of 4 loggers to monitor their 3 fridges and 1 freezer. They also use the probe from one of their loggers to spot check on each fish, once smoked. Speaking to Harri Walters, production manager at Secret Smokehouse, he explained how with the introduction of testo Saveris 2, they are already reaping the benefits of an automated monitoring system:

Before introducing a testo Saveris 2 monitoring system, Harri would need to perform a series of temperature spot checks; once in the morning and once at closing. Harri estimates that by removing the need to check the fridges manually, they save 5-10 minutes per day. Admittedly, as a relatively small operation this time saving isn’t enormous, however, with only 2 employees in the business, any additional time is precious. And as a former chef, Harri knows all too well that in a high-pressure kitchen environment these time restraints are only amplified. In either case, Harri concluded, the last thing you need is additional tasks to worry about.

The biggest advantage by far is not having to worry about it as much. As mentioned previously, the EHO (Environmental Health Organisation) expect small food businesses to be able to demonstrate how they manage and records what measures they take to ensure their food is safe. Testo’s Saveris 2 provides a straight forward way of proving due diligence and that they are monitoring temperature effectively.

Testo Saveris 2 – The advantages.

Saves Time – Without an automated system in place, an employee has to go through the whole site manually, checking each location. By automating this, all data is sent directly to cloud storage, allowing you / your employee additional time to focus on other important jobs. Reports are also collated and sent to you automatically so you don’t have to lift a finger.

Saves Money – employing a temperature monitoring system can save you money in the long run, on wasted stock, product recalls etc. If there is a potential problem, thanks to the alarm function, you will be notified immediately, before it is too late.

Secure and accessible remotely – all data is stored in one central, secure place. Reports can be sent directly to you via email, so you don’t need to waste time checking each individual logger (or even going to the site for that matter). Alarms can be set to send via email, SMS or App.

User friendly – some monitoring systems require time-consuming installation and maintenance but with a wireless system such as testo’s Saveris 2 it is very simple to get set up and started.

 

“With the Testo system our temperature monitoring is practically effortless, and we no longer need to worry. All kitchens should invest; as a chef or food professional the last thing you need is additional tasks.

Testo have been very friendly and professional during installation and throughout – a pleasure to deal with.”

Harri Walters – Production Manager, Secret Smokehouse

 

Like some more info?

For more information on testo Saveris 2 or any of Testo’s solutions please go to www.testo.co.uk or call us on +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be happy to help.

 

 

 

Foodex 2018: Come and visit the Testo stand and discover our measuring solutions that ensure Food Safety from farm to fork

Measuring instrument manufacturers Testo, will be at Foodex demonstrating our safety equipment for the processing sector. On stand K310, our experts will be on hand to explain how Testo’s range of instruments help operators ensure they are storing, producing and distributing food safely from farm to fork, whilst also enhancing process efficiency.

 

Testo’s range of Food Safety equipment includes data loggers, thermometers, pH meters, cooking oil testers, infrared thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, thermal barriers and more

 

On our stand, Testo will be giving out Free sausages, as part of our ‘how hot is your sausage’ application display. We will be doing live demonstrations of how to use Testo thermometers to show both the core temperature of the sausages, and surface temperature of the griddle during cooking. Thus, ensuring we are cooking the sausages at the correct temperature, and ultimately, proving we’re doing so safely.

As well as the sausage giveaway, a major focus at the show will be our data logger range, suitable for many applications in the food processing sector. These include low-cost loggers for simple temperature and/or humidity measurement in a cold storage room for instance, right through to the temperature of production items or the surface temperature of machines or motors themselves. Testo’s high-end data loggers have the capability to measure even the most extreme temperature ranges in production processes.

Another focus product is Testo’s Saveris 2, automated climate monitoring system. A cloud-based system that stores all measurement data in one central place, Testo’s Saveris 2 removes the need to collect data manually, meaning staff can use this time for other important tasks. There is also no longer a potential for readings to go missing. This has proved very handy for audits.

 

 

 

All Testo food safety equipment is HACCP certified. As well as those mentioned, Testo will have our full range of instruments on display including data loggers, thermometers, pH meters, cooking oil testers, infrared thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, thermal barriers and more.

 

Exhibition info

In April 2018, the UK’s premier trade event for the food and drink processing, packaging and logistics industries once again comes to Birmingham. With an expected 30,000 attendees across the 5 shows, the show aims to shine a light on top trends across the food manufacturing sectors; from improving traceability and food safety, transforming productivity and highlighting the latest new ingredients and super foods to make an impression on the industry.

Register free using the below detail:

Venue: NEC Birmingham

Dates: 16th -18th April

Section: Foodex

Stand number: K310

Register for free tickets at: https://foodex-2018-visitor.reg.buzz/Website

Like some more info?

For more information on Testo please go to www.testo.co.uk or call us on 01420 544 33

 

Testo will be at the Pharmacy show discussing the importance of pharmacy temperature control

Next week testo will be at the Pharmacy show in Birmingham (8th-9th October), discussing how to ensure constant indoor climate for pharmaceutical storage. Testo will be offering our industry knowledge and displaying our range of solutions for pharmaceutical safety, which help manufacturers meet quality requirements and give the reassurance they are storing and distributing produce safely.

Why is pharmacy temperature control such a hot topic?

Effective temperature monitoring is an absolute necessity for modern day pharmacies. In order to guarantee the safety of patients, pharmacies must ensure drugs and vaccines are stored at certain temperatures, with all such measurements properly documented. The pharmacy guidelines on temperature monitoring, as issued by the MHRA, outline that controlled drugs and vaccines stored in pharmacy fridges must meet benchmarks to ensure the maximum efficacy and shelf-life.

With pharmacy audits becoming more thorough, compliance to guidelines in terms of climate control has become a key part of the regulatory process. To meet such strict protocols, both temperature monitoring and accurate record-keeping are absolutely vital for any facility storing prescription drugs.

The problem is, with the absence of an automated system in place, this not only requires time-consuming work from the pharmacy team, it also increases the risk of mistakes or oversights. Some pharmacists for example, simply perform a daily check on their fridges to see they are still working. What they fail to recognise however is, not only does this fail to reveal any fluctuations, for instance when the fridge door has been open too long, but more importantly it doesn’t give you the chance to react quickly should there be a malfunction.

This can have a hugely negative effect on a pharmacy’s reputation, not to mention the loss of expensive drugs means an enormous financial burden. More concerning still, is the risk of prescriptions not having the intended effect, due to the product themselves being tainted because of improper temperature control. Not everyone is aware, but if pharmaceutical products aren’t stored correctly, this can drastically reduce their effectiveness.

 

With the testo Saveris 2, 24/7 continuous monitoing has never been simpler

 

How Pharmacies can control this

So, what can pharmacists do to be sure their pharmaceuticals and therefore patients are kept safe? In the past, fully integrated temperature monitoring systems have been complicated to install and are often very expensive. However, with the availability of new wireless climate monitoring solutions such as testo’s Saveris 2, 24/7 continuous monitoring has never been simpler and more cost effective.

The biggest advantage of such a system is its simplicity. Saveris 2 for example can be installed quite easily without the need for studying complicated instructions. And just a few minutes after commissioning it, the wireless probes start transmitting the first measurement values by WiFi. Done.

Here is a short overview of the key advantages of a wireless climate monitoring system:

  • Allows you to ensure pharmaceuticals are always kept in correct conditions thanks to 24/7 continuous monitoring
  • Automatic alerts if there is a fluctuation, via email or SMS
  • Low cost and simple to use, with systems now available from under £100

Testo’s aim is to help people to understand just how important it is for pharmacies to monitor temperature. We so often hear about the need to monitor conditions in pharmaceutical production and logistics, but as with all delicate produce, quality control must continue right through until it is the hands of the end-customer.

Register and get your Free tickets now

If you’d like some more information on testo’s solutions for the Pharmaceutical Industry or you’ve got a potential requirement you’d like to discuss, please come down and visit testo on Stand PJ16 at the NEC, Birmingham on the 8th and 9th of October.

Click here for your free tickets.

Alternatively, if you’re not going to make it to the show, feel free to reach out to us. You can either visit our website www.testo.co.uk or give us a call on +44 1420 544433 and we’ll be more than happy to help.

Hope to see you there!

Testo at Restaurant Tech Live 2017

At Restaurant Tech Live, Excel, London on the 26th and 27th of September, testo will be exhibiting some of our latest solutions for the restaurants and catering sector as well as offering our industry knowledge.

On our stand, testo will be running a ‘how hot is your sausage’ competition, where we will be giving away free sausage samples, with prizes for those who are able to guess the core temperature correctly. This is also to show off our new testo Saveris Restaurant quality management system, and how easy it is to visualise results of spot checks and monitoring.

 

 

Other technology we will have on display includes the award-winning testo 270 cooking oil tester, our Saveris 2 wireless temperature monitoring system as well as our full range of food safety equipment, including data loggers, thermometers, pH meters and more.

If you’re attending the show or you have some availability in your diary to attend, come and visit testo on stand 5154 to see for yourself the food safety knowledge and solutions we can provide.

Show highlights

Theatre Hall 6: How to avoid being the next food scandal! – 15.30 – 16.00

On Day one our very own Warren Mansfield-Smith will be giving advise on how restaurants can use modern quality management technology to avoid being the next food scandal. With ever increasing demands on food service establishments and consumers’ ability to quickly and publicly share their thoughts and opinions on the quality of their experience, food service businesses need to ensure quality checks and all associated documentation are kept up to date and completed correctly.

Warren is a Certified Food Service Professional and has Level 3 Award in HACCP from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. He will discuss some of the consequences of not keeping accurate records and ways to reduce the risk to businesses while also improving efficiency and reducing long term costs.

Panel Theatre Hall 10: Shaping the Restaurant of Tomorrow – 12:00 – 12:30

With the restaurant industry ever-evolving due to an influx of emerging technologies, it could be easy to forget the importance of investing in innovative back-of-house solutions, which can streamline operations and boost your bottom line.

Listen in to gain unique insight into the back-of-house trends that are shaping the restaurant of tomorrow.

Testo’s solutions for food safety

Testo offer 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.

In 2017, testo have also launched a brand-new solution, specific to the restaurant and catering sector, called testo Saveris Restaurant. Combining intuitive software and precise measurement technology, testo’s latest solution aims to make daily job processes noticeably easier, safer and more efficient. It includes a fully integrated temperature monitoring system, and control unit(s) allowing all paper documents to be converted into a digital format.

 

By automating checks required in a restaurant, operating costs can be reduced

 

This will help operators demonstrate the highest level of due diligence and ensures quality checks are completed on time and correctly. By removing the need for paper and automating many checks required in a restaurant, it will also help reduce operating costs and improve efficiency.

Come and see us at the show

Visit testo on Stand 5154 at Restaurant Tech Live, Excel, London, 26th-27th September.

Click here for your free tickets

See you there!

Like some more info?

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.

 

 

 

 

How the food industry is taking advantage of automated monitoring to optimise working procedures and decrease workloads

When it comes to the food industry, no matter which area a company works in, food safety is always a major concern. The sheer scale of end-customer demand, coupled with strict time restraints, puts a huge amount of pressure on the food industry to ensure all produce is carefully monitored and regulated from farm to fork. Practically every point of the process, throughout production, preparation, storage and transport, has potential danger areas regarding spoilage through mismanagement or poor temperature regulation.

Monitoring temperature is a particularly important part of this process. Incorrect climatic conditions can have devastating consequences, and businesses often leave themselves at risk of incurring needless costs should there be a power cut, or system malfunction. This can lead to wasted stock or worse; a legal dispute.

Such costs can be detrimental to both production and reputation (should the tainted stock be distributed) and will ultimately have a negative effect on profit margins.

Within the food industry more and more businesses are opting to use automated temperature monitoring. For certain applications simply using a data logger and noting down readings manually is sufficient, for instance building monitoring where there is no danger of damage to stock and you simply need the records for reference purposes. When dealing with climate sensitive stock though, as is more often than not the case in the food industry, using an alarm fitted system which monitors conditions continuously is fast becoming a necessary requirement. With such a system in place, if there is a problem, you will be notified immediately, so you are able to react straight away, before it is too late. This is particularly useful if you don’t have staff on site 100% time, which let’s face it, most companies don’t the have resource for.

When first introduced, whilst the logic and practicality behind this type of solution is somewhat undeniable, systems were very costly and the quality manager or person responsible for food safety simply couldn’t justify the cost. This has often proved to be the stumbling block for companies looking to move to an automated system, instead sticking with more traditional temperature loggers, and taking manual readings. To an extent this is understandable, “if it’s not broken don’t fix it”, right? Admittedly, in the first instance investment is needed for such a system. In the long run, however, it will likely save the business valuable time and manpower.

For example, if in the current regime a member of staff is required to go around and take checks at numerous locations, this is a needless additional task which could be used for something more productive. And of course, as mentioned previously, the overriding advantage of employing such a system is to act as a contingency measure and protect your operation in the event of a problem or system malfunction. This could end up saving money in the long run, on wasted stock, potential product recalls etc. Another saying comes to mind: “But we’ve always done it that way”. This has been described as the 7 most expensive words for any business; failure to adopt new methodologies can hurt a business in the long run.

 

The above video explains the advantages of an automated temperature monitoring system

What’s more, as technology continues to advance at an astonishing rate, such systems are now becoming available for a fraction of the cost when this type of system first hit the market. Testo’s Saveris 2 for example offers a fully automated temperature monitoring system from under £100 with no additional costs for software. Therefore, it doesn’t cost as much as you’d think to ensure your peace of mind.

 

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, 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.