Fridge Temperature Monitoring Log
Fridge safety tips can take you a long way ! Being cautious about them can help reduce the risk of many foodborne diseases. We don’t want that don’t want that no, do we?
The goal is to prevent customers from catching devastating pathogens like Salmonella, E.coli 0157: H7 and C. botulinum.
The first thing you need to set up a fridge temperature monitoring log sheet or a mechanical temperature data logger.
We recommend to use a digital thermometer to be read outside from fridges and freezers and mechanical thermometer gauges, to be read inside fridges, that way if one is faulty you have an accurate back up.
It is important to keep the temperature at 40 degrees F or lower. The freezer should be at 0°F. These are the critical limits set by FDA (U.S).
In U.K, the maximum legal temperature for a fridge is 8°C with a recommanded temperature between 1-4 °C and for freezer the maximum recommanded temparature is -18°C with maximum of -15° C. If a given freezer only contains ice cream, there is an allowance to go to -12°C, the ice cream shelf live is than reduced to 1 month maximum.
How should you check temperature of food ?
There aren’t many ways !
– Use a clean, disinfected, calibrated thermometer or infrared (not for core temps).
– Take the core temperature.
– Allow minimum of 30 seconds contact time (ensure dial temperature is stabilized).
– Bimetallic coil temperatures should not be used as they are not tip sensitive.
– A thermocouple or thermistor should be used.
– Record temperatures in accordance to the Haccp plan.
Make sure that you aren’t making any mistakes
There are a couple of things you need to make sure of while using a probe thermometer. Nothing tricky; these are just a few precautions.
The most commun mistakes are :
- Thermometer is not calibrated
- Temperature is not at the core (warmest/coolest)
- Probe is not cleaned and disinfected
- Temperature digital reading is not stabilized (being allowed sufficient time)
- Probe is touching the bone/container
- Recording Fahrenheit ad Celsius
Are you following good practice in terms of temperature taking ?
The frequency of temperature monitoring should be twice a day. This is because some stubborn bacteria like Listeria can grow in chilled conditions and any fluctuation of temperature can cause them to multiply. So we have to be smarter to beat them. Checking the temperature twice can also help to spot any technical problems quicker.
So yes, being negligent about this in your restaurant can cost your food operation big time!
Who should make the fridge temperature monitoring log sheets?
The safest thing is to train your staff. We recommend to create a routine and make your staff accountable for completing the logs accurately. If the question is ” Have you ever seen people falsifying entries, because they forgot to do it ? ” , The answer is a big yes. There are various reasons to that, in kitchens the work pace can sometimes be intense, turnover can be rather high, peer training is often neglected, or non existant, or sometimes, this is just not convinent, the walkin is downstairs and the person in charge of capturing the log forgot to take a pen… too bad, it will not get done today either. Simple measures can facilitate the process immensely :
- Attach a pen near by the fridges/freezers
- Keep 1 temperature log book per section rather than 1 for the whole kitchen
- Assign the task to a dedicated person
- Allow the time to it
- Attach a pen near by the fridges
- Use technology