NOTE: Each refrigerator in your kitchen that holds perishable, semi-perishable (whole unprocessed vegetables) and potentially perishable (frozen) foods must be checked for their holding temperature twice a day (first thing in the morning and then in the mid-afternoon), on a daily basis.
Basic procedure for clients testing the temperature of their fridge and freezer facilities:
1) A Digital Probe Thermometer should always be used as these thermometers provide the most accurate real-time temperatures.
- TIP: Ideally each fridge and freezer should be outfitted with a temperature checking food analogue, such as a small bottle of water (or sanitiser) for the fridges and a small bottle of oil for the freezers.
- These food analogues can then be used to read core temperatures, of what the refrigerators are getting the food items down to, without having to stick the probe into actual production food items.
- The respective bottles should be refreshed with new contents once a week.
- If food analogues are to be used, then the procedure from and including point 3 to and including point 5 below should be followed.
- If cold or frozen foods are to be used, then the full procedure from and including point 2 below should be followed. In freezers high fat or emulsified items, such as butter or ice cream could be used to get core temperatures as they will still be soft enough for the probe.
2) Before the probe is stuck into the foods being checked, the probe section should be cleaned and sanitised.
- The probe should be cleaned with a cloth and any food grade detergent.
- The probe should then be sanitised, ideally using the fast-drying hand sanitiser, by spraying two doses of the sanitiser onto a clean piece of paper towel and then liberally applying the sanitiser to the whole length of the probe.
- The sanitiser should be allowed to dry.
3) Once sanitised, the probe can then be stuck into the food item or food analogue until the tip of the probe is approximately in the middle, or core, of the food item.
Tip: The core temperature is the most important temperature to take so do not let the probe tip be positioned too close to any surface of the food items being checked.
4) The probe should be held in this position until the temperature reading stabilises, that is until the numbers on the reading face stop changing.
5) Once stabilised the reading can then be deemed the true internal core temperature of the food item or food analogue and the temperature should be noted, with all decimal values, on the respective fridge or freezer temperature check list.
6) For all individual food items being checked in the various refrigerators, points 2 to 5 above should be followed to ensure temperatures are taken hygienically and accurately.
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