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Salmonella

Latest Salmonella Outbreaks

Latest Salmonella Outbreaks What is a Salmonella Outbreak? The latest Salmonella outbreaks are declared when two or more people get the same Salmonella based illness, from the same contaminated food or drink source. These events are also known as food-borne disease outbreaks. Salmonella itself is a type of rod-shaped bacteria (or bacillus) and is one of the most well known causes of food-borne illness, more often referred to as ‘food poisoning’. Usually, an infection will just result in illness, but the latest salmonella outbreaks have required hospitalization for a large number of people and have even lead to death. The latest Salmonella outbreaks have all involved live bacteria being found in the intestines of humans (Salmonellosis). The bacteria usually invades the gastrointestinal tract, where they attach themselves to the cells lining the intestines and start to produce toxins. The Centers … Read more

Your guide to refrigerators and humidity drawers

Your guide to refrigerators and humidity drawers

When it comes to properly a fridge to stock fresh produce, most people know that low temperatures help to keep food fresh for longer, but this guide to refrigerators and humidity drawers explains how humidity also plays a vital role in extending the life of some of your fresh fruits and vegetables. In your you may find that you have a humidity drawer that regulates the amount of humidity your produce receives. Humidity drawers keep your fruit and vegetables in particular, fresher for longer, preventing wastage, saving you money and the effort required to replace any affected produce, but it is important to know how best to use them, in order to product quality for as long as possible.   What are humidity drawers? Designated fruit and vegetable drawers are designed to maintain a higher humidity than the rest of … Read more

Health Risks From Eating Raw Cookie Dough

Health Risks From Eating Raw Cookie Dough

A tempting ‘cook’s perk’ for some, but raw cookie dough hasn’t had the kind of  treatment that’s designed to kill germs, so may cause illnesses in people who eat it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a warning about the dangers of eating raw cookie dough, urging us to “Say no to raw dough!“. “When you prepare homemade cookie dough, cake mixes, or even bread, you may be tempted to taste a bite before it is fully cooked,” the CDC said. “But steer clear of this temptation — eating or tasting unbaked products that are intended to be cooked, such as dough or batter, can make you sick.”   It would be easy to just associate the health risks with the inclusion of the raw egg that’s in the raw cookie dough, as this is a well … Read more

NAFEM 2019 SHOW

NAFEM 2019

New Bluetooth Thermometer launch at NAFEM 2019. Comark Instruments is launching its latest Bluetooth™ product innovation at The NAFEM 2019 Show, February 7-9, 2019 in Orlando, Florida, the BT4x Bluetooth Thermocouple Food Thermometer. Visit Booth 854 to see how the Comark range can automate the temperature data collection required for today’s Wireless HACCP and Food Safety plans. The new Comark BT4x Bluetooth Food Thermometer is designed for all food service operations to quickly, safely and effectively monitor critical temperatures for deliveries, storage, cooking, cooling and hot holding, through to final serving. The Comark BT4x Bluetooth Food Thermometer has all the features of the best-selling C2x Thermometer but now incorporates recording via Bluetooth to eliminate the need for paper record keeping. Following the earlier launch of the BT25x Bluetooth Pocketherm™ Fold-Out Thermometer last year, it became clear that customers welcomed the … Read more

Shower head with water spray

Legionella Control in Hot and Cold Water Systems

Hot and cold water systems in buildings supply fresh water for cooking and cleaning and other functions such as heating. Systems that supply hot and cold water range in size scale and complexity. Water is usually distributed throughout buildings through a pipework system. Hot and cold water systems need careful management, particularly in public buildings such as healthcare premises to reduce the risk exposure to legionella. Legionella bacteria is responsible for Legionnaires’ disease, an uncommon but serious lung condition.  It can be caught by inhaling droplets of water from hot tubs, shower heads or heating systems. Temperature control of hot and cold water systems plays an important part in reducing the risk of legionella bacteria within the system. Where possible, cold water systems should be maintained at a temperature below 20°C.  Stored hot water temperatures should be at least 60°C.  … Read more

Data Loggers

What is a data logger?

Comark have a range of data loggers; compact, electronic instruments that record measurements at set intervals over a fixed or unlimited period. Depending on your requirement, data loggers range from models that can be downloaded after a single trip or more sophisticated wireless devices that can be left in place continuously. Your application will dictate which model you choose as the requirements for measuring a consignment in transport is very different to the continuous monitoring of storage areas in food and healthcare applications. A data logger may be a single unit, stand-alone device with internal sensors that can be downloaded manually, through to high-tech, wireless instruments with internal plus one or more external sensors. The basic explanation is that a data logger is a device with a sensor to measure something and a computer chip to store it prior to … Read more

How to check commercial dishwasher temperatures

Commercial Dishwasher Temperatures

High temperature commercial dishwashers use hot water that has reached a high enough temperature to remove food remnants and bacteria.  The correct commercial dishwasher temperatures mean that table and cookware is by hot water. Kitchen staff spend much of their time documenting food storage and cooking temperatures as part of their HACCP plan.  Measuring water temperatures of your dishwasher cycles is just as important to prove to that the correct safe-guards are in place. In a 2011 germ study conducted by the US based National Sanitation Federation (NSF), it was found that the place in most homes with the highest number of germs wasn’t the bathroom, but the kitchen! Washing hands, proper cleaning, of kitchen work surfaces and following food handling guidelines, are important ways to protect against food-borne illness.  A vital measure is to ensure that dishes and cookware, … Read more

Thanksgiving Turkey

Cooking a Thanksgiving Turkey

The holidays are fast approaching.  It is a time when family and friends gather looking forward to sharing traditional holiday fare of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and pie. Family traditions often dictate how a turkey is cooked.  Roasting the turkey is a top favorite although the details may differ from family to family.  Maybe it is soaked in brine overnight, it might be a spice mix rubbed in the skin or the frequency of basting with butter during the roasting time.  However, it is prepared, there is no doubting that the Thanksgiving turkey is the star of the festive table. If you buy a frozen turkey, the USDA website has some easy to follow guidelines for the safe thawing of your Thanksgiving turkey.  It’s important to check that the turkey does not reach the food danger zone of … Read more

Pumpkin Soup in Jar

3 Food Safety Tips for your Halloween Party

Halloween is observed in a number of countries on the 31 October. Otherwise known as All Saints’ Eve it marks part of the three-day observance of Hallowtide which runs from 31 October to 2 November annually. Modern Halloween celebrations include dressing up for costume parties, decorating with pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns, spooky decorations and games such as apple bobbing. It’s a good excuse for friends, family and community groups to hold a party.  Children visit homes in their playing ‘trick or treat’. If you are catering for a crowd, follow these food safety tips for your Halloween Party. Refrigerate If serving foods like salads or dips at your party, bear in mind that they are particularly at risk of spreading food-borne illness.  Don’t leave foods like this standing at room temperature for too long before being served.  It’s best to … Read more

Tom Cook - Executive Head Chef, Smith & Wollensky

Temperature Measurement, Travel and the Perfect Steak!

We talk to Smith & Wollensky’s Executive Head Chef, Tom Cook about temperature measurement, travel and the perfect steak. In June 2015 Smith & Wollensky opened their first restaurant outside of the US – located in the landmark Adelphi Building in London. Their steaks are USDA Prime, dry-aged and butchered on-site, making them the only steakhouse in London which offers a cut of meat that combines all three. Tom Cook has been a chef for over 22 years, working alongside some greats such as Gary Rhodes, Michel Roux Jr, Eric Chavot, Daniel Clifford and Tom Aikens. Cook is now Executive Head Chef at Smith & Wollensky. We caught up with Tom to talk about how important the right cooking temperature is when producing the perfect steak every time …     What’s your earliest food memory? I’d say cooking with my … Read more

Temperature Mapping for temperature controlled storage

4 Steps to Temperature Mapping

Why Map? Temperature mapping, or thermal mapping as it is also known, provides food and pharmaceutical companies with the confidence that their storage conditions comply with regulatory requirements.  Even minor fluctuations in temperature could lead to product safety and compliance issues meaning that costly inventory is lost. Periodic temperature mapping of storage conditions is critical for compliance in MHRA or FDA regulated applications.  Compliance means there is increased emphasis on the need to perform GMP mapping on temperature controlled storage where drugs, vaccines and other pharmaceutical products are stored and it can be a requirement for licencing a product. When to Map The temperature mapping of storage areas should be carried out before the storage area is used.  In fact, GDP Guidelines Chapter 3.2.1 quote: “An initial temperature mapping exercise should be carried out on the storage area before use, … Read more

What is HACCP?

How Does HACCP Protect You and Your Food?

What does HACCP mean? How does it safeguard your food? What are the obligations placed on the food industry to ensure compliance?   HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points. Let’s look at this food safety system and see how it works. Set up by the European Union HACCP has been mandatory in the food industry since 2006, HACCP origins date back to the 1960’s space program where it was decided early in the process that maintaining food for prolonged periods of time in space was essential. It was defined as an overview more than ten years before that by the World Health Organisation’s Codex Alimentarius Commission.   The principles behind HACCP are best described as PDCA. Plan, Do, Check Act. A terminology that should be familiar to those familiar with process control. This means that for most businesses … Read more