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  • 2014 FDA Food Safety Predictions and the Role of Temperature Monitoring

    Steps to automate temperature recording and reporting help meet key food safety concerns.


    A recent blog on the Food Safety Tech website featured predictions by former Chief Medical Officer at the US FDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Dr. David Acheson. The piece presents five prediction for 2014 Food Safety.  Link to Blog With his insight into the workings of the FDA, Dr, Acheson offers a first look at likely FDA actions in 2014.  These include:

         1. FSMA Final & Proposed Rules will be pushed for completion

         2. Poultry Modernization Act Pressure to reduce high levels of bacteria on raw chicken

         3. More Recalls

         4. More calls for GMO & Nano labeling

         5 Other - expanded focus on front of package labeling and more stringent requirements on heavy metals (lead, cadmium), especially in imported foods.


    Due to the publicity that food safety problems garner, many of the issues above are key in the minds of consumers, and therefore need to be considered seriously.  For example, an October 2013 Los Angeles Times editorial titled Keeping Salmonella out of Chicken made headlines when the piece pointed out that Sweden has virtually eliminated salmonella in store bought chicken and that a 2010 Consumers Union study found no salmonella in the organic store-brands chicken tested (Link to Editorial). The editorial's note that one particular outbreak was from antibiotic resistant strains and led to a call for tighter regulation and reduced antibiotic use.   The industry’s response that thorough cooking will kill the bacteria does little to stem the adverse publicity and potential liability from such outbreaks.  Dr. Acheson ties such events to his prediction for more recalls in 2014.


    December 2013 CDC Salmonella Heidelberg Contaminated Chicken Case Count (CDC Link)


    Certainly producers of chicken as well as other meat, fish, dairy and produce can improve their operations to reduce such outbreaks.  The question is whether or not they will take the initiative to show proactive approaches to reducing bacterial contamination or weather another storm of headlines accompanied by a drop in consumer purchases of suspect problems and the resultant lawsuits that always follow.  The FDA is looking at this issue closely and proactive measures can help in arriving at practices and regulations that meet both consumer and producer needs.

    One such proactive approach for the poultry industry is to monitor breeding area temperatures to insure the animals are kept at temperatures that promote health and reduce bacterial growth.  Temperature@lert’s WiFi and Cellular Edition devices have been deployed in numerous breeding houses with good results.  While temperature controls take care of cooling and heating needs they are not infallible; these systems can and do fail.  And if temperatures climb too high on hot, humid days, all the fans in the world will not be enough to keep the poultry safe.  Temperature@lert’s devices alert growers to the dangers before they cause serious harm by sending email, text and voice messages to managers when problems arise.

     


    Chicken Farm (Link to National Geographic); Processing Plant (Link to Pine Manor Farms)


    Quick responses can be the difference between sick or injured birds and healthy ones at medium and  large commercial chicken grower sites.  Keeping temperatures from reaching extremes can help prevent rapid bacterial growth.  Likewise, processing plants are at risk of contamination when temperatures rise promoting the growth of bacteria.  This is why major chicken growers have deployed Temperature@lert’s Cellular Edition alerting devices coupled with secure cloud based data collection, storage and alert reporting offers a fault tolerant solution for times when site power or HVAC systems are malfunctioning.  Temperature@lert’s proprietary Sensor Cloud can send text, voice and phone alerts to insure responsible personnel are aware of problems when they occur, day or night, holidays or weekends, and growers can get a good nights sleep because they know their chickens are safe.


    Temperature@lert ZPoint Cellular DeviceTemperature@lert ZPoint Wireless Sensor

    Cellular Edition (Left) and optional ZPoint Wireless Network Sensor Module (Right)


    Temperature@ert’s WiFi, Cellular and ZPoint product offerings linked to the company’s Sensor Cloud platform provides a cost effective solution for organizations of all sizes. The products and services can help bring a laboratory or medical practice into compliance with minimum training or effort. For information about Temperature@lert’s Cellular and SensorCloud offerings, visit our website at http://www.temperaturealert.com/ or call us at +1-866-524-3540.


    Free Temperature@lert eBook




    Dave Ruede, Well-Versed Wordsmith

    Dave Ruede, a dyed in the wool Connecticut Yankee, has been involved with high tech companies for the past three decades. His background in chemistry and experience in a multitude of industries such as industrial chemicals and systems, pulp and paper, semiconductor fabrication, data centers, and test and assembly facilities informs his work daily. Well-versed in sales, marketing, management, and business development, Dave brings real world experience to Temperature@lert. When not crafting new Temperature@lert projects, Dave enjoys spending time with his young granddaughter, who keeps him grounded to the simple joys in life. Such joys for this wordsmith include reading prize winning fiction and non-fiction. Although a Connecticut Yankee, living for a decade in coastal California’s not too hot, not too cold climate epitomizes Dave’s favorite temperature, 75°F.

    Temperature@lert Dave Ruede

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  • Temperature@lert Named as Finalist in 2013 American Business Awards

    TEMPERATURE@LERT NAMED AS FINALIST IN 2013 AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARDS


    The 11th annual Stevie® Awards will be presented on June 17 in Chicago and September 16 in San Francisco.

    Boston, MA – May 9, 2013 – Temperature@lert, a leading provider of real-time, cloud-based environmental monitoringsolutions designed to enable businesses to mitigate temperature-related disasters, was named a Finalist today in the New Product or Service of the Year – Software category in The 2013 American Business Awards for their Sensor Cloud service. Temperature@lert will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie® Award winner in the program.

     

    Sensor Cloud is a web-based Software-as-a-Service product for monitoring the environmental conditions of server rooms, bio-pharma vaccine storages, and commercial refrigerators while providing regulatory compliance data logging and alerting for various environmental sensors such as temperature, humidity, water, and more. The fault-tolerant design helps ensure that sensor data is logged and maintained for years, while the website and free iPhone/Android apps enable access to sensor readings and the ability to edit phone calls, emails, and SMS alerts from anywhere.

     

    Temperature@lert’s Cellular Products have previously won several awards, including a Stevie Gold Award for their Solar Cellular Edition in 2012. However, it is Temperature@lert’s Sensor Cloud that serves as the brains of all Cellular Editions with over thousands of devices deployed and running the service. Temperature@lert's WIFI and USB devices can also be connected to Sensor Cloud for a consolidated view of all sensor readings and alert statuses. Temperature@lert’s mission is to create a cost-effective and fault-tolerant system that will allow any user to monitor their assets at any moment, anywhere.

     

    The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. 

     

    The American Business Awards will be presented at two awards events: the ABA's traditional banquet on Monday, June 17 – in Chicago for the first time, after 10 years in New York; and the new product & technology awards event on Monday, September 16 in San Francisco.

     

    More than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.  Temperature@lert is nominated in the New Product or Service of the Year – Software category for their Sensor Cloud service.

     

    “Temperature@lert’s Sensor Cloud service directly addresses every industry’s monitoring needs ranging from server rooms, to farms, to medical storage, and even to commercial food transportation operations. We are deeply honored to be recognized as a finalist for our Sensor Cloud service by the American Business Awards,” said Harry Schechter, CEO/President of Temperature@lert. “This honor only further validates the need for remote temperature monitoringbecause everyone should be able to easily prevent temperature related disasters, regardless of type of industry or size of company. We believe in giving you a solution before you even have a problem.”

     

    Finalists were chosen by more than 140 business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in April and May.  More than 150 members of nine specialized judging committees will determine Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, to take place May 13 - 24.  

     

    Details about The American Business Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.   

     


    About Temperature@lert

    Temperature@lert’s temperature and environmental monitoring solutions provide both real-time and historic views of a location’s temperature and other critical parameters through alerts and cloud-based graphs, data logs and reports. This information allows customers to immediately react to potentially disastrous temperature or other fluctuations in critical environments, as well as provide temperature consistency for regulatory and internal process control requirements. Temperature@lert has more than 40,000 devices installed in over 50 countries around the globe. For more information, please visit www.temperaturealert.com.

     

    About the Stevie Awards

    Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service.  A fifth program, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, will debut this year.  Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide.  Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.

     

    Sponsors and partners of The 2013 American Business Awards include the Business TalkRadio Network, Callidus Software, Citrix Online, Dynamic Research Corporation, Experian, John Hancock Funds, LifeLock, PetRays, and SoftPro.

     

    ###

     

    Contact:

    Diane Deng

    Temperature@lert

    866-524-3540 x506


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  • TEMPERATURE@LERT RECOGNIZED BY COMPUTERWORLD AS A 2013 COMPUTERWORLD HONORS LAUREATE

    BOSTON, MA—March 19, 2013— IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program today announces Temperature@lert as a 2013 Laureate. The annual award program honors visionary applications of information technology and promoters of positive social, economic and educational change.

    “Technology continues to play a pivotal role in transforming how business and society functions. For the past 25 years the Computerworld Honors Program has had the privilege of celebrating innovative IT achievements,” said John Amato, vice president & publisher, Computerworld. “Computerworld is honored to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the 2013 class of Laureates and to share their work. These projects demonstrate how IT can advance organizations' ability to compete, innovate, communicate and prosper.”

     

    Approximately 100% farmers over-water their crops and plants.  The vast majority (90%) of water use by farmers in the United States is for irrigation. This causes significant water waste, runoff, and wasted dollars. The agricultural industry is a major player for ground and surface water usage, which accounts for about 80% of the water consumption in the United States. Therefore, a solar cellular environmental monitoring device saves water and therefore, also saves fuel and dollars while promoting crop growth.

     

    By discovering the correct amount of water to use, a farmer can cut costs, spending, and reduce their strain on the water system. Their unit can save enough water in a year for up to 9,000 people. This assumes a 200-acre farm, 6.21 gal water/cu ft on farm per year, 50% water reduction, and 50 gallons per day of water use per person.


    Harry Schechter, President and CEO of Temperature@lert. “Historically, our Cellular Edition has found its way into the agricultural markets through our traditional channels. After all who wouldn’t want to help save water and promote food growth? These are very important matters in sustainability and we’re glad to be a part of the solution, and we’re ecstatic for the opportunity to help save our country’s valuable fresh water resources as well as promote crop growth as a Computerworld Honors Laureate.”

     

    The Computerworld Honors Program awards will be presented at the Gala Evening and Awards Ceremony on June 3, 2013 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

     

    About The Computerworld Honors Program

    Founded by International Data Group (IDG) in 1988, The Computerworld Honors Program is governed by the not-for-profit Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to promote positive social, economic and educational change. Additional information about the program and a Global Archive of past-Laureate case studies, as well as oral histories of Leadership Award recipients can be found at the Computerworld Honors website.

     

    About Temperature@lert

    Temperature@lert’s temperature and environmental monitoring solutions provide both real-time and historic views of a location’s temperature and other critical parameters through alerts and cloud-based graphs, data logs, and reports. This information allows customers to immediately react to potentially disastrous temperature fluctuations or other changes in critical environments, as well as provide temperature consistency for regulatory and internal process control requirements. Temperature@lert has more than 40,000 devices installed in over 50 countries around the globe. For more information, please visit http://www.temperaturealert.com.

     

    About Computerworld

    Computerworld is the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers, providing peer perspective, IT leadership and business results. Computerworld’s award-winning website (http://www.computerworld.com/), bi-weekly publication, focused conference series, custom solutions and custom research forms the hub of the world’s largest (40+ edition) global IT media network and provides opportunities for IT solutions providers to engage this audience. Computerworld leads the industry with an online audience of over 3.5 million unique, monthly visitors (Omniture, August 2012) and was recognized as the Best Website by ASBPE and TABPI in 2012. Computerworld is published by IDG Enterprise, a subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading media, events and research company. Company information is available at http://www.idgenterprise.com/.

     

    Note: All product and company names are trademarks of their respective companies.


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  • Temperature@lert Named a 2013 Winner of Boston Business Journal's Best Green Practices Award for Invention

    Temperature@lert has been selected as a winner of the Boston Business Journal’s “Best Green Practices Awards” for invention. The Boston Business Journal honors many companies for accomplishments in design, innovation, invention, and for other notable strides in green practices.  Temperature@lert will be honored for their accomplishment for invention at a breakfast at The Seaport Hotel on Friday, April 12, 2013.

    Temperature@lert’s TM-CELL540-S solar powered, cellular sensing and alerting system combines Temperature@lert’s latest generation cellular engine with a host of agricultural related sensors and control devices.  By using Temperature@lert’s industrial smart sensors, agriculturalists now have the ability to use technology to effectively monitor and ensure proper crop growth, as well as save water. For example, if an action is taken, such as turning on sprinklers to prevent frost from damaging crops, customers will receive emails, SMS text messages, and phone calls to inform them of the status change.

    Close to 100% of farmers in the United States over-water their crops and plants.  The vast majority (90%) primarily use water for irrigation purposes. These two percentages paint a grim picture of water waste, runoff, and wasted dollars for the agricultural community. The agricultural industry is a major player for ground and surface water usage, accounting for about 80% of the water consumption in the United States.

    Their solar cellular environmental monitoring device saves water, and as a byproduct, also saves fuel and maintenance dollars. By discovering the correct amount of water to use, a farmer cannot only cut costs and spending but he/she can prevent over-watering and reduce their individual strain on the water system. The Solar Cellular Unit can save enough water in a year for up to 9,000 people. This assumes a 200-acre farm, 6.21 gal water/cu ft on farm per year, 50% water reduction, and 50 gallons per day of water use per person.

    Publisher of the Boston Business Journal, Chris McIntosh, said it best, “Our Best Green Practices event is a celebration of the environmentally aware and intelligent approaches that increasingly define Boston business.” With such an innovative group of green practices winners for 2013, Temperature@lert looks forward to meeting the other winners and sharing a deeper insight into green practices performed and showcased in Boston.

    “Temperature@lert is greatly honored to be recognized for its Solar Cellular Edition in green practices by the Boston Business Journal. We are ecstatic to be working within the agricultural industry, where we get to help growers with their crops while saving water one of our nation’s valuable resources,” said Temperature@lert’s President and CEO, Harry Schechter. “Who wouldn’t want to help save water and promote food growth? These are very important matters in sustainability and we’re glad to be a part of the solution.”

    For more information on Temperature@lert’s Solar Cellular Edition, please visit http://www.temperaturealert.com/Wireless-Temperature-Store/Temperature-Alert-Solar-Cellular-Sensor.aspx.


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  • Temperature Control of Leafy Greens

    As per the 2009 food code, leafy greens are identified as a food that requires time and temperature control for safety, particularly for retail locations. This is due to the growth of pathogens that can arise without proper temperature control, as internal fluids and nutrients are sensitive to bacteria once the leaf is cut. Studies reportedly show that E. coli 0157:H7 can become attached to the stomata and cut edges of the leaves. For temperature control, this specific strain of E. coli will decrease with storage temperatures between 39-41 degree Fahrenheit, but will increase with higher temperatures.

    These issues can arise in multiple areas of product, including the field, cleaning and cooling facilities, distribution warehouses, vehicles, and/or retail food locations. Overall, the consensus is that refrigeration at 41°F or below prevents the growth of such pathogens. Any greens stored above 41°F curbs bacterial growth, and can also help deactivate other bacterial presences over a period of time. For bagged and fresh-cut greens, the shelf life in a retail establishment is set at approximately 2-3 weeks. The tricky part is, these bacterial strains and spoilage isn't visually present when examining the greens, therefore putting the responsibility on the retail establishment to ensure the safety of the greens. As per the FDA, keep these receiving, storage, and recommendations in mind for the quality control of leafy greens. Check out the official Retail Food Protection page on the FDA's website for more information.


    Receiving

    Cut leafy greens must be received at a temperature of 41ºF (5ºC) or less and be free of evidence of previous temperature abuse (3-202.11).

     

    • This requirement does not apply to the receipt of whole heads of lettuce and other raw agricultural commodities.
    • Refusal of products containing cut leafy greens when proper temperatures can not be assured is one way of achieving compliance with this requirement.

    Suppliers of commercially-processed, cut leafy greens generally recommend transport and storage of their product at temperatures below the 41ºF (5ºC) limit established in the Food Code.

    Storage 

    Cut leafy greens must be maintained at temperatures of 41ºF (5ºC) or less during cold storage and display (3-501.16).

    • To verify proper cold holding, measure the product temperature using an appropriate temperature measuring device. A thin probe thermocouple can be inserted in thicker stem portions of the leaf for a valid reading. An infrared (IR) thermometer can also be used to measure the surface temperature of the leaves. IR thermometers may not be as accurate in measuring the temperature of bagged product as the packaging material can cause reflections of the IR beam. For sealed bags of product, insert a thermometer stem or thermocouple probes between bagged products or fold the bag tightly around the probe to ensure adequate contact with the product.
    • Refrigerators and cold storage units in which cut leafy greens are stored should be equipped with air temperature monitoring devices that allow them to be checked for proper operation and temperature control.

    If fresh leafy greens are cut or chopped within the food establishment, the cut product must be discarded if not sold or served within 7 days of the time the product was cut (3-501.18). The product must be marked to indicate the date by which disposal is required, unless the cut product is held less than 24 hours from the time it was cut. (3-501.17)

    If a container of commercially processed and packaged cut leafy greens is opened in a food establishment, the product must be discarded if not sold or served within 7 days of the time the package was opened (3-501.18). The product must be marked to indicate the date by which disposal is required, unless the product is held less than 24 hours from the time the container is opened. (3-501.17)

     

    Overall Recommendation

    To reduce the risk of pathogen growth, maintain cut leafy greens at 41 ° F (5 °C) or less during storage and display. Routinely monitor the temperature of the product and the equipment used to maintain product temperature.


    1The 2009 Food Code defines “cut leafy greens” as fresh leafy greens whose leaves have been cut, shredded, sliced, chopped, or torn. The term “leafy greens” includes iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, baby leaf lettuce (i.e., immature lettuce or leafy greens), escarole, endive, spring mix, spinach, cabbage, kale, arugula and chard (7). The term “leafy greens” does not include herbs such as cilantro or parsley. Lettuce and other leafy greens cut from their root in the field with no other processing are considered raw agricultural commodities (RACs) and are not included in the definition of “cut leafy greens” and are therefore not considered a PHF/TCS Food, as defined and applied in the 2009 Food Code.

     

    All above sections are taken directly from the FDA website, which can be viewed here.


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  • The awards just keep coming! Michelle Keefe finalist in Stevie Award competition

    We're on a roll: BBJ 40 over 40, Finalist in MassChallenge competition, 2011 Connected World Entrepreneur Award, the list just keeps growing.  And now we've learned our own Michelle Keefe, Temperature@lert's Sustainability Seer, our collective environmental conscience is a finalist for the 2011 Stevie Award for the small business category.  Stay tuned for the results! And Michelle, Congratulations! and take time for it to sink in that you're very special among the 1300 deserving entrants for this year's awards.  See our full press release about the announcement here:  Link to Press Release

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