AJAR.id – Hello Ajarian! All food premises must have an independent thermometer to check the temperature of food, whether on delivery, during processing, while on display and food equipment such as fridges, cool rooms, freezers, bain-maries, and other food warmers.
Most premises use a probe thermometer which can be inserted into food.
The use of infra-red thermometers is not recommended as they will only give surface temperature readings which are not accurate enough for food safety purposes. This thermometer must be:
- Readily available for food handling staff to use as required
- Checked/calibrated very six months (minimum) to ensure it is giving an accurate reading. Instructions on how to do a hot and cold calibration to check the accuracy of the thermometer are included in the instructions that accompany the thermometer
- Thermometers must be accurate to +/- 1ºC or they must be repaired or replaced
- Cleaned and sanitized between uses when it is being used to check the temperature of food – the use of a sanitizing wipe is common
- Placed into the food/equipment for 10 seconds in order to get an accurate reading – you must give the thermometer time to provide you with a reading
- Insert the probe between frozen products in order to get a frozen food reading – you don’t need to stick the probe into the frozen food
- Used according to the manufacturer’s instructions – read the leaflet!
- Allowed to reach room temperature when being alternated between use on hot and cold food or vice versa – never go directly from cold to hot food or vice versa
- Treated with care – do not knock, drop or damage it: if it is knocked, dropped or damaged, it should be immediately checked for accuracy.
When an Environmental Health Officer visits your premises, they will always carry a recently and accurately calibrated thermometer.
It is a good idea to ask them if you can compare yours to theirs. Put both thermometers in, say, a cool room and compare the readings.
Read also: How to Calibrate Thermometer for Food
Nurturing You to Grow®
Written by: Alan Hickman, Nick Hyland
Subject Matter: Manage workplace operations