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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.

 

 

 

Get to know Testo’s food safety equipment and measuring technology

The frequency of UK food alerts has been steadily increasing in recent years. As the food standards agency reports, there were 56 food alerts issued in both 2013 and in 2014. The frequency in 2015 and 2016 was more than double that (121 and 148 food alerts respectively).

With this increase, the need for effective quality processes is emphasised. Both to reduce the risk of such an event occurring, and to provide proof of the highest level of due diligence, should an irreversible issue of this nature occur. Manufacturers therefore, need to be confident that both their processes and safety equipment are bulletproof. Keeping such cases to a minimum is of course the end goal, but quality managers need the correct tools to ensure safety and the company’s HACCP plan is upheld.

Here we go through some of the most important safety equipment and measurement technology, for establishments to protect the safety and reputation of their operation:

 

Automated temperature monitoring

One overnight system failure can cost a company hundreds of thousands of pounds in wasted goods, an this is something that ironically, can be very easily avoided with an automated temperature monitoring system.

Testo’s Saveris 2 for example, is a cloud-based system that logs and stores all measurement data in one central place. Facility managers can place a wi-fi data logger in the warehouse or storage room to monitor fluctuations in temperature and have alerts sent to their email or phone. The user can then access the readings via their computer tablet or smartphone via the App.

Another advantage of an automated system, is it removes the need to collect data manually, meaning staff can use this additional time for other important tasks. Additionally, having data collated automatically, means there is no longer a potential for gaps, or readings to go missing. Handy in the case of audits.

 

Data loggers

As well as monitoring systems, Testo manufacture data loggers suitable for a range of applications in the food processing sector. These range from low-cost loggers for measuring temperature in a cold storage room for instance, right through to the temperature of production items or the surface temperature of machines or motors themselves and have the capability to measure even the most extreme temperature ranges, for high-end production processes. All Testo data loggers are certified for HACCP.

 

Thermometers

 

Thermometers are required in a number of applications during food manufacturing, for simple temperature spot checks. In this sector more than most, robustness is a hugely important factor for equipment. The Testo 108 thermometer for example, is waterproof, sturdy, and has an IP rating of IP67, making it ideal for manufacturing plants. It also has the option for colour-coded cases, meaning you can allocate different probes to specific food groups, avoiding contamination. All Testo thermometers are certified for HACCP.

 

 

 

Infrared thermometers

Infrared measurement can be a very useful feature in the food industry, particularly in the processing and retail sectors. It can be used as a quick indicator for surface temperature of the product, when penetration isn’t appropriate (if this will cause irreversible damage for example). Testo produce a range of infrared thermometers, ideal for spot checks during manufacturing processes.

 

 

pH Meters

Testing pH levels is a common method of deducing if edible materials are fit for the public. pH levels impact the appearance, taste and quality of food products. For example, during yoghurt production, improper pH levels can cause discolouration or insufficient tartness. In contrast, incorrect pH values in pork impact’s the meat’s water holding capacity, negatively affecting the product’s saleability. Testo’s range of pH meters are ideal for measuring the pH value of semi-solid media, viscous and protein-containing foodstuffs (eg. processed cheese, fruit).

 

Cooking Oil Tester

Cooking oil testing is being used more and more within the restaurant and hospitality sector, but can also be used to the advantage of food manufacturing facilities for products where frying is required (crisps or donut production for example). In order to ensure you’re being economical with your oil, you need to test the TPM (total polar material) levels. The testo 270 Cooking Oil Tester offers a solution for controlling cooking oil consumption, as well as testing oil quality, to ensure consistent product quality. The testo 270 has been certified by both HACCP and NSF.

 

Thermal Imaging Cameras

Thermal imaging can be used in food production to reduce downtime, by checking mechanical components for wear so preventative maintenance can be scheduled to replace components that have degraded over time, before they cause failure and loss of production.

Another area a thermal camera can be used is in refrigerators or cold storage rooms. Using thermal imaging, you can identify areas where mould and other bacteria can grow putting food at risk and also detect faulty seals on refrigerated units leading to wasted energy.

 

Like some more info?

 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Testo equipment can be used to help with your food safety strategy, please go to www.testo.co.uk

 

Testo at the Museums and Heritage show – offering restoration advice, climate monitoring solutions and more

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When: May 18th – 19th, 2016

Where: Olympia West, London

Stand no: E9

 

“The UK’s largest trade event for the cultural sector”

Testo are exhibiting at the Museums and Heritage show in London on the 18th & 19th May 2016. May has already been a particularly busy month for testo in terms of shows and and we’re now looking forward to our next event at “Londons newest event venue” – Oylmpia West.

The Museums and Heritage show will include demos, masterclasses, free-to-attend talks and one-to-one advice with a number of experts in the heritage and restoration fields. The good news is there’s still time to register, or you can even sign up on arrival, whichever works best for you.

 

Testo are on stand E9 – See you there

Testo supply a number of monitoring instruments to the heritage sector. Whether you need to measure temperature, humidity, lux, shock or indoor air quality (IAQ), we’ve got the equipment to make sure your artifacts are properly maintained and/or restored.  Visit us on Stand E9 to find out how Testo instruments can help you.

Below is some more information on what we will have on stand and how testo equipment is useful to the museums and heritage sector.

 

Environmental monitoring in museums

 

Why is creating the right indoor climate in a museum a challenge?

Suitable room temperature – a challenge for museums

Preserving the exhibits from damage is of course a top priority for museums. This becomes particularly important with the liability obligation towards the owners of loaned objects and priceless artifacts. Since many exhibits are extremely climate-sensitive, suitable air temperature and humidity conditions are essential. This is not an easy job because of seasonal climate fluctuations caused by high numbers of visitors. You cannot rely on just the correct adjustment of the air conditioning systems. For this reason, comprehensive and continuous humidity and temperature monitoring is a necessity.

 

How does humidity and temperature monitoring with Wi-Fi data loggers work?

With testo Saveris 2, indoor climate monitoring is easy. Just place a Wi-Fi data logger in each location you wish to monitor. The Wi-Fi data loggers continuously measure temperature and humidity and wirelessly transmit the measurement data to the cloud (online storage). The data is automatically saved there (no additional storing on hard drives/servers is necessary). You can access these readings at any time, using your smartphone, tablet or PC. You are immediately provided with an alarm (by text or e-mail) in cases of critical temperature or humidity values and can react quickly to threats of damage.

 

How can a Saveris 2 system help me to preserve precious artifacts in the museum?

Once the Wi-Fi data loggers are connected to your wireless network (this is very simple), they are very reliable. Temperature monitoring is automated so you do not need to write down any min./max. values, read out data loggers, or sort the measurement data before saving. You can then access all your data via PC, smartphone or tablet, in order to check the values or to provide proof to auditors. Problems with updates or hard drive back-ups are a thing of the past.

 

What advantages does a Wi-Fi data logger system have over traditional data loggers?

WiFi data logger system for temperature monitoring

No more recording data by hand! The data from all your measurement locations is collected in the testo Cloud (even if you are measuring in several rooms or different floors of the museum). Also if you are planning on expanding, it couldn’t be easier to add additional loggers. You will receive a warning text or e-mail if temperature and humidity values are critical and can quickly take action to prevent threats of damage. The Wi-Fi data logger system simply offers you more security for the preservation of the exhibits.

 

With a Saveris 2 system museum climate can be continuously monitored without you having to lift a finger. The data will then be automatically collated, and sent to you as a report via email. For more information on Saveris 2 watch the video below:

The above video explains how Saveris 2 works

 

Transportation and shock

Whilst temperature and humidity monitoring is well established in the heritage sector, there is a growing demand to monitor artifacts in transit. During transportation an artifact may endure shocks to it from handling and vehicle movement, which could cause unseen damage to the artifact, which would be hard to rectify.

The Testo 184 series can offer data loggers that will not only monitor and record the temperature and humidity, but can also monitor any shocks to the artifact during transit. Giving you a comprehensive data for the artifact during its transportation duration, which would allow for any action if necessary.

 

LUX testing

For museums in particular, light can be an important factor in the preservence of precious artifacts and paintings. Therefore it is crucial to make sure you have the right measures in place to monitor this. The sensor of the testo 540 LUX meter is adapted to the spectral sensitivity of the eye. This makes it ideal for the measurement of light intensity.

 

Interested in attending?

For more information on the Museums Association Conference and how to attend Click here

Visit us at_Web 

To find out more about Testo instruments why not visit our website www.testolimited.com/heritage or call us on 01420 566 841.

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Testo guide to Food Safety

Testo offer a wide range of equipment for food safety which will help you meet your 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 much more. Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, from farm to fork, Testo has the right instrument for the job. For more information on Testo instruments for food safety please visit www.testolimited.com/food-safety

 

Safety is the most important ingredient

A modern lifestyle requires ever increasing flexibility and mobility. This is one of the reasons why people are going out to eat more and more. Demands of restaurant guests regarding variety and freshness of food are as high as they’ve ever been. The gastronomic trade can only meet these demands with absolute quality and, above all, food safety.

Within the kitchen many raw materials are processed simultaneously, prepared dishes must be kept warm for longer periods, and food service must then be prompt. Doing this for hundreds of employees in a large company, for patients, or airline passengers, can be difficult to organise. Concentration and efficiency are required, and the atmosphere can become tense. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But since germs love warmth, a HACCP concept must guarantee food safety.

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Creating a dish from top-quality ingredients is also of the utmost importance when cooking. This is why it is so imperative for produce to be properly maintained. Precautions such as making sure food is stored correctly, massively affect the quality. Not only that, but there are health issues involved. With Testo measurement technology you always have food maintenance under control.

If you’d like to know more about food safety you can download your Free Testo Food Safety Pocket guide by clicking on the booklet below. In this short guide we discuss theory, practical application, as well as some useful tips. Enjoy.

 

testo-guide-to-food-safety

 

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Teamwork Makes Great Business – CESA Conference 2015

 

 

When: November 12th – 13th, 2015

Where: Hilton, London, Wembley

 

About CESA Conference 2015

Whether you are a manufacturer, dealer or consultant involved with catering equipment, or an operator working within the foodservice & hospitality sector, attending the CESA conference will provide a unique opportunity to:

  • Find out the very latest industry thinking from speakers at the heart of the issues
  • Add your voice & influence the debate on the way forward
  • Network with over 200 of the industry’s leading players

With an outstanding speaker programme and a focus on business relevant content, this year’s conference will provide you and your colleagues with valuable management information.

In addition to the conference content there are many other reasons to attend the CESA conference:

  • Informal networking dinner (12th Nov)
  • Play golf at Stanmore Golf Club
  • Network with your peers and customers
  • Gala Dinner (13th Nov)
  • Gym and leisure facilities for partners
  • Presentation of the FCSI Sustainable Catering Equipment Award
  • 20th Outstanding Contribution to the Catering Equipment Industry Award

 

Come and speak to us

Testo offer a wide range of instruments for food applications which will help you meet your HACCP requirements and give you the reassurance your methods are safe. Whether it is for spot checks or long-term monitoring, Testo has the right instrument for the job. Here is some more information on some of the products we will have on stand:

 

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Cooking Oil Testing

The patented Testo 270 Cooking Oil Tester allows you to determine within seconds whether cooking oil needs changing. This will not only make sure you’re cooking with clean oil, but is also proven to save you money on cooking oil costs.

 

 

Saveris 2 – WIFI data loggersSaveris_2

Testo’s new and improved Saveris 2 makes temperature and humidity analysis both easier and more accurate than ever before. By using a Cloud-based monitoring system it allows information to be stored and accessed remotely. This means users can monitor and react to issues from anywhere in the world. This will help to reduce pressure, relieving the need to be constantly on-site to keep measurement values under control.

 

104-water-proof-folding-thermometer-0563-0104-testo-2Testo Thermometers

Our practical folding thermometers are your insurance between the kitchen and the counter. These handy companions are always ready to use and are ideally suitable for fast temperature checks at a buffet, for instance. They are waterproof and dishwasher-safe, and therefore absolutely fit for use in kitchens.

 

 

Interested in attending?

Click here to book your place at CESA Conference 2015.cesa-logo

For more information on our Catering instrumentation or any Testo products please visit our website: testolimited.com

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