Regularly check your refrigerator, fridge or freezer

The truth about your refrigerator and freezer

Have you heard any of these snippets of advice about refrigerators and freezers? A refrigerators is more cost efficient when it’s full. Your refrigerator is much warmer at the top and colder at the bottom. When the seal on your refrigerator begins to decay you should replace the appliance. Which of these are true and how should you use your appliance to get the best, safest and most cost-effective performance? Let’s take a look. A refrigerator is more cost effective when it is full This commonly held view comes from one of two ideas. The first is that the air inside your appliance needs to be cooled by the compressor to attain the correct temperature. The more air, the more the compressor needs to work. Alternatively, that, solid objects, once cooled to the correct temperature take longer to warm up … Read more

Advantages of a digital thermometer for food

Pros of using a Digital Thermometer for Food

Advantages and Characteristics of Digital Food Thermometers In most regards a digital thermometer offers the same functions as a traditional thermometer. Imagine food preparation without a thermometer? There would be no safe and effective way of measuring whether food is properly cooked by visual means alone. Whether the fault of the operator or of the equipment being used, it is possible to under prepare or over prepare food. A faulty oven or grill, a miscalculation in terms of the time needed to cook could all result in spoiled or dangerous food. The only absolute way to be sure that food has been prepared properly is by using a thermometer. Advantages of a Digital Thermometer Digital thermometers tend to be easily portable and are highly accurate. They will either have a probe attached or a built in probe that is placed … Read more

Best BBQ thermometer to check meat temperature

Using a BBQ Thermometer for Safe Meat Preparation

A good quality BBQ thermometer is an essential item for al-fresco cooking. Warm weather and long evenings make the ideal combination for a barbecue. It’s a relaxed way to eat and . There is a need to be a little cautious however, as this might sometimes lead to a more relaxed approach to food preparation and that is not such a good idea. The storage, preparation and handling of meat, in particular chicken and pork, needs as much care outdoors, as it does indoors. A large-scale study reports that cases of reported food poisoning double in barbecue season, compared to the annual average. The study reveals some other startling statistics; It’s estimated that in cases where the person who becomes ill understands that poorly stored or prepared barbecue food was the cause, only 10% of cases are seen by a … Read more

Celebrate the fourth of July

Fourth of July Independence Day Celebrations

Do you have plans to celebrate Independence Day with family and friends on the fourth of July or saving your celebrations until the weekend? Whenever you host your get together, it is time to get out the red, white and blue decorations and plan your holiday menu. When it comes to Independence Day food, it is usually time for a picnic or barbecue as family and friends gather. You’ll want to make sure there are plenty of dishes to share and that there is something for everyone. When you are preparing your holiday feast, it’s a good time to remember a few food safety tips. Make sure that salads and other cold dishes are not left standing outside of the refrigerator or cooler for too long.  The summer temperatures can rise in July.  Warm, humid weather is the ideal environment … Read more

HACCP and Food Safety Training

Comark announces new accredited HACCP and food safety training

As suppliers of specialist temperature measuring equipment supplied into food manufacturing, food service, catering and retail businesses, Comark is well placed to understand the importance of HACCP and food safety training to these organizations. “Comark continues to innovate food safety solutions. We are proud to launch our HACCP food safety and food hygiene training programme. Our aim is to provide new and established businesses with the knowledge and equipment required to meet the stringent safety standards of the global food industry.” – Mike Slevin, Global Sales & Marketing Director, Comark Instruments

Campylobacter and Handling Raw Chicken

Safe handling of chicken to minimize campylobacter contamination

Handling raw chicken requires attention to some basic food hygiene principals to reduce the chances of eating food contaminated with campylobacter. The Food Standards Agency quote that about four in five cases of campylobacter food poisoning in the UK come from contaminated poultry, especially chicken and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are an estimated 1.3 million illnesses in the United States each year caused by campylobacter. Campylobacter has a low infective dose, meaning it takes very few germs (fewer than 500) to make someone ill (source). That means a single drop of juice from raw chicken can have enough Campylobacter in it to infect someone. How to reduce the risk from campylobacter when handling chicken Clean Make sure your hands are washed and that the kitchen worksurfaces, cutting boards and utensils are thoroughly clean.  Immediately after being … Read more

NRA 2018

Come and see us at NRA 2018 on Booth #3651

From May 19 to 22, Comark will be at NRA 2018, the National Restaurant Association Show at McCormick Place, Chicago. Come along and see us in Booth #3651. If you’re still manually collecting temperature data and recording in written records, here’s a great opportunity to visit see a wide choice of products designed to support the best HACCP practice – from simple pocket thermometers through to automated HACCP systems. See the Bluetooth Pocketherm, a folding thermometer that is used with the Comark Kitchen Checks App to manage all your HACCP temperature recording. Designed for use in the kitchen and other food production areas, the Bluetooth Pocketherm thermometer transmits temperature data via Bluetooth to your Android or iOS phone or tablet. Not only does the App automate temperature collection, it can also be used for check lists for cleaning and equipment … Read more

Acrylamide in Food

Reduce Acrylamide by Going for Gold

Acrylamide is a chemical substance formed by a reaction between amino acids and sugars.  It is found in a wide variety of foods such as chips, roast potatoes, crisps, toast, cakes, biscuits, cereals and coffee. Concern regarding the carcinogenic potential of acrylamide has eventually led to new legislation that comes into force in April 2018.  Commission Regulation (EU) No 2017/2158 requires that food business operators apply the acrylamide mitigation measures set in the Annexes in this Regulation. When foods with a high starch content are fried, roasted or baked at high temperatures over 120°C acrylamide is formed. The recommendation for cooking food with a high starch level is to “go for gold” as generally, the darker the appearance of a starchy product, the higher the acrylamide level is found to be. It is advised that the temperature of cooking oil … Read more

Hazard Analysis for Butchers

The Importance of Hazard Analysis for Retail Butchers

All food businesses must develop documented food safety management procedures based on HACCP.  This is particularly important in premises that have higher risks such as butchers handling raw and cooked food. Butchers’ shops will require more in-depth record keeping than lower risk food businesses.  It means that butchers must identify where risks to food safety could occur and how they will control those risks. By conducting a hazard analysis, the critical control points are identified then procedures based on the HACCP food safety management system are put in place to implement and maintain a food safety plan.  When carrying out the hazard analysis assessment, the business owner must ensure that it will work in practice and that every step can be continually implemented. Keeping HACCP records up to date may help you establish a defence of due diligence should you … Read more

5 Temperature Safety Tips

5 Temperature Safety Tips

 Accurate measurement and control of temperature is critical to the quality and safety of food products. Throughout the supply chain of any food business there will be critical control points (CCPs) identified in the HACCP plan.  There will be temperature safety checks at each of the CCPs identified.  1. Why is temperature control important? Harmful bacteria are a hazard present in many foods handled in homes, food service and food processing businesses.  Growth can be controlled by keeping food hot or cold.  Harmful bacteria can be reduced or destroyed by cooking or reheating to the correct temperature. 2. Handling temperatures on receipt of goods When accepting deliveries of food quick temperature safety checks can be made with infrared thermometers.  These thermometers take surface temperatures and do not damage packs.  They are particularly useful for checking frozen goods which may be … Read more

Plaited White Loaf Recipe

Plaited White Loaf Recipe for Real Bread Week 2018

Now in its 10th year, Real Bread Week runs from 24 February to 4 March 2018 and is the international celebration of supporting your local, independent Real Bread bakery and baking your own bread. One of the two main aims of Real Bread Week has always been to encourage more people to bake additive-free loaves at home and here at Comark Instruments, our amateur bakers have joined in with a plaited white loaf. There can’t be a much better smell than that of freshly baked bread. Baking bread at home is easy if you are patient.  It requires ten minutes or so to mix and knead the dough then an hour or two between stages to prove the bread and allow it to rise. Why not follow these instructions and make a loaf of your own? Recipe for plaited white … Read more

Wireless Monitoring for food businesses

How Wireless Monitoring Helps Your Food Business

Food businesses want total food safety assurance and this is where a wireless monitoring system for temperature can help. When the heat is on in the kitchen, do you know what is happening in your temperature sensitive storage? When it gets busy front of house, you want to know that your staff have time to perfect the customer experience.  With wireless monitoring in place, they can do so safe in the knowledge the necessary back of house temperature checks are taken . The vital temperature records of cold and frozen storage areas, coolers, hot and cold holding stations are automated through a series of wireless data loggers that automatically and continually monitor temperatures to provide real-time data on storage conditions. Automatic alerts can be set up via email or SMS notifications for when exceptions occur and temperatures fall outside of … Read more