For potential customers investigating the complexities of temperature monitoring solutions – what you don’t know can hurt you. As Comark’s National Sales Manager, I spend much of my time analyzing clients’ needs and expectations, helping to create compliance-focused solutions that allow for increased operational efficiencies and expanded revenue opportunities.
One of the most common issues I see in evaluating kitchen coolers and freezers is in the area of defrost cycles. Defrost cycles typically rely on a mechanical timer, which is monitored and adjusted manually by an HVAC specialist. These adjustments are made to optimize efficiencies, but necessary changes may fluctuate as compressors and equipment age, or even as refrigerants leak or are replaced.
Incorrect cycles characteristically raise the temperature of the cooler or freezer interior too high, only to require more work from the compressor to chill it back down. The normal “guessing” method of setting cycle times is not only a wildly inefficient use of energy, but a practice that could jeopardize product safety.
Despite a nearly 10 percent plunge in salmonella incidences, other bacterial infections have surged in recent years. Vibrio vulnificus, most commonly found in seafood, is up 32 percent; E.coli 0157 is up 16 percent; and Shigella is up 14 percent, according to the most recent information available from the CDC.
While recommended temperatures are often associated with the cooking process, consistently maintaining recommended temperatures is equally important in storage.
By utilizing wireless temperature and humidity monitoring solutions, a kitchen staff is provided access to reports and graphs to make appropriate the best possible adjustments to the defrost cycles. This not only maximizes the life expectancy of equipment and minimizes wasted energy, but also ensures food has been stored in optimal conditions to preserve freshness and maintain food safety parameters.
Understanding how to maximize the full potential of your food environment is the key to meeting and exceeding industry-specific HAACP compliance expectations.