temperature@lert blog

  • The Scoop On Supplements: Fish Oil

    fish oil, supplements, GNC

    This article concludes our series on cGMP practices within the supplement industry. This week’s article is about fish oil production as well as often unspoken processes that allow fish oil to be the popular health food supplement that it is today.

    Walk into any Vitamin Shoppe or GNC and chances are an associate will ask if you have tried fish oil yet. The potential benefits of fish oil are numerous: research suggests fish oil is good for skin, helps with joint dryness, promotes heart health, and even aid brain development in children. A fish oil sale went from $425 million in 2007 to a phenomenal 1 billion dollars in 2012 and shows no signs of stopping. To put that in perspective, supplement sales in 2012 were 11.5 billion dollars, so this one product holds up a sizable portion of the entire supplement market. When compared to the plethora of different products the supplement industry provides (protein, herbs, multivitamins, etc), it only makes that 1 billion all the more impressive.

    It is recommended that fish oils be refrigerated for the sake of quality control and bioavailability. In fact, many supplement stores provide refrigeration units that keep fish oil bottles and softgels between 40° and 50° Fahrenheit. Any colder and the oil can clump and ruin the consistency, but higher could risk premature spoilage.

    The process begins with freshly caught fish –often tuna, mackerel, and sometimes salmon. For extracting healthy omega-3 oils, fatty fish are always best because they contain the most oil per fish caught. Due to the reduction of many salmon fisheries, most companies have moved to other fish in an effort to be more environmentally sustainable. Tuna, mackerel, cod and others have taken its place in recent years due to the abundance of these commercial fish.

    blue fin tuna, tuna, fishing, fishermen, fishing boat
    One of the massive nets used to catch schools of blue fin tuna.
    (nationalgeographic.com)

    The bigger factory ships often stay on the water for most of the fishing season and transfer product and supplies to smaller carrying vessels which return to a shore facility. Since some species feed and live near the surface (called pelagic fish) they are easily visible from the vessel or from the air. Airplanes are often used to spot the schools and direct fishing vessels to them.

    Fish are caught live and then stored in large tanks at approximately the same temperature as sea water until they can be transported back to the plant for processing. Temperature and other important environmental factors play a role in the preservation of a given day’s catch. Time is of the essence as spoiled fish cannot be processed into fishmeal. Once the fish has arrived at the factory it is ground into fishmeal, where the oils and meat need to still be separated.



                                                                                                                                        fish processing plant, fishery processing, fish prcoessing 

    A typical fish processing plant. Workers debone the fish before processing.
    (talkvietnam.com)

    The cooking process separates these two constituents into individual, concentrated ingredients. A rotary screw conveyor transfers heat indirectly from a surrounding jacket. This is an improvement over direct heating practices in that it is a gentler process that saves more of the delicate oil, preventing a loss in final product. Until fairly recently, companies heated the meal to excesses of above 100°C. Because of this, fish oil products were rendered completely ineffective and have led to a persistent skepticism towards the supplement’s purported health benefits, even to this day. New experiments have shown that the walls of the fat cells are broken down before the temperature reaches 50 °C, so only minor heating is required to achieve the desired effect.

    fishmeal, fish meal, fishmeal plant, fishmeal processing
    Fish meal is fed through the top and the moved through the machine.
    (Tacmak.com)

    Cooking is an exacting operation in production and temperature is difficult to control. Production of cooked material, which can be readily pressed, is dependent on the quality of the raw material and on the process conditions. A precise time-temperature program for this process can therefore not be set up and a process of trial and error is generally required when fish processed. This means that strict temperature monitoring is a must if any of the oil is supposed to be sold to supplement companies.

    A number of procedures can be used to convert raw fish and cuttings into viable oils. The process is universal in that factories all over the world both on land and on ships employ it with slight differences in equipment type, but the major steps of cooking, pressing, separating, and drying are always present. Continuous processing from the time the fish are landed optimizes efficiency and maximizes product quality, and the types of fish used are rotated depending on what the season is.

    Heavy metal pollution is one of the modern world’s most serious environmental problems, and as with anything else, safety is always of the utmost importance. Excess water and metals are removed through the use of flue gasses like carbon dioxide, which need to be carefully overseen in order to not spoil the product. The addition of water during the process also makes flooding a potential issue that manufacturers can easily address with Temperature@lert flood sensors.  Temperature@lert’s Cellular Edition sensors can effectively audit CO2 output, moisture, flooding, temperature, and other important environmental readings to produce an effective safeguard against a myriad of problems and disasters.

    temperature monitoring, best practices for temperature monitoring, temperature monitoring guide




    Written By:

    Robert “Bobby” Rejek, Dreaming Dramatist

    Boston local, Bobby is Temperature@lert's resident fitness and nutrition expert. Majoring in English and having earned Suffolk's Recognition Day Award for his contributions to Suffolk University, Bobby joins the Temperature@lert team as a content writer. He creates health-related blog posts, aids in marketing team initiatives, and helps maintain the technical content database. Outside of Temperature@lert, Bobby is a certified Personal Trainer through the NCSF and is working on his first fantasy novel. Because he's always on the go, Bobby's favorite temperature of 65°F reminds him to keep cool and stay breezy.

    Robert Bobby Rejek

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  • Food Transportation: The History Of Refrigeration

    Today, we're lucky that significantly decreasing the potential of bacteria growth on our food and consequent illness is as easy as proper storage in a functional freezer or refrigerator. But, it wasn't always so easy. Just ask the Ancient Greeks.

    But, even still, the understanding of the importance of keeping food cold is not a new concept. Refrigeration practices, as we know them today, are just relatively recent advancements to the ancient practice of ice harvesting and food cooling that has been around for thousands of years. You may even be surprised to learn that the seasonal harvesting of snow and ice is an ancient practice estimated to have begun earlier than 1000 B.C. with the Chinese, who's collection of song lyrics from this time period, known as the Shih King, describes religious ceremonies in which ice cellars were filled and emptied. However, because the song lyrics are about as much information as we have on these ancient, cold storage units, little is known about their construction or what the harvested ice was actually used for.

    Still, the Chinese weren't the only ancient society known to harvest ice. Other ancient people, like the Greeks and Romans, were also known to have used ice for similar purposes as the Chinese. Evidence shows that the Greeks and Romans had dug large snow pits, as a means to store cool beverages. The ancient Egyptians had also developed methods for cooling their beverages. Unlike the Greeks, Romans and Chinese, however, who used ice to cool their water, the Egyptians cooled their water a little bit differently. After putting boiling water in shallow earthen jars and then placing them on the roofs of their houses at night, slaves would then moisten the outside of the jars and the resulting evaporation would cool the water. It was this Egyptian concept that led the ancient people of India to eventually produce ice, not just harvest it, and, with this development, the Persians may have been the first people to not only use ice to cool their beverages, but also, to use cold storage for the purpose of food preservation.


    It's amazing, really, how far back we can trace the development, harvesting and usage of ice for chilling purposes and those primitive cultures, remarkably, understood the value of ice as a precious and beneficial commodity. But let's fast forward, not only to spare you the tedious details of hundreds of years of tedious ice history, but also to jump to a time in which important, relevant developments were being made to the best practices of refrigeration, as we know them today.

    Before the development of artificial refrigeration, people were forced to rely on harvesting and storing natural ice and it wasn't until 1755, when Scottish professor William Cullen designed a small refrigerating machine, that huge strides were made in the progress of artificial refrigeration practices of the modern age. The machine used a pump to create a partial vacuum over a container of diethyl ether, which then boiled, absorbing heat from the surrounding air. Ice was created as a result. The preliminary machine only created a small amount of ice, and had no practical application at the time, but the way was being paved for more successful and efficient ice making and storing machines. Contributions made to this early ice-making prototype made by scientists like Benjamin Franklin, John Hadley, Michael Faraday, Jacob Perkins and John Gorrie, eventually led to the birth of the first practical mechanical ice-making machine in 1851 and the first commercial ice-making machine in 1854 by British-born journalist James Harrison.

    From that point, commercial refrigeration practices quickly progressed and advancements in refrigeration continued until the middle of the 20th century, when refrigeration units were no longer limited to chilling food products in fixed locations, but were also designed for installation on trucks and trains so that perishable, regional foods were now more easily accessible and available to consumers at far distances. Refrigeration had begun to play a vital role, not only in the storage, but also in the distribution of food.

    Today, the list advantages of advancements made by refrigeration technologies, beyond the obvious reduction of bacterial growth and spoilage in food, is not a short one. Before the early 20th century, people's diets were greatly affected by the seasons, climate, and what could be grown relatively close to their region. Refrigeration advancements, particularly in trucks and trains, loosened the restrictions of these limitations, because foods could now be transported greater distances with less potential for spoilage. It allowed for a more diversified diet for people across the country. It's why today we can enjoy California avocados in Massachusetts and Maine lobsters in Texas.

    Refrigeration also allowed for a more hygienic handling and storage of perishable foods, and as a result, promoted output growth, consumption and nutrition. Sure, food born illnesses and bacterial growth in food items are still very problematic in modern society, but in numbers that are dwarfed compared with those in the days before cold storage. With effective refrigeration came improvements in the quality of food nutrients and the reduction of food born illnesses.

    It's difficult to discount the advantages that refrigeration brings to our lives. Healthier societies, diversified diets, reduced spoilage, and slowed bacterial growth are just some of the improvements that modern refrigeration practices guarantee, and so, when efficient refrigeration practices are not observed by people in the food industry, it's easy to see why there is cause for concern and public outcry. In a day in age where technology rules the world, what excuse is there for poor refrigeration? The answer is that there isn't.

    And what's more, is with low-cost and easy-to-use, continuous, automated temperature monitoring devices, cold temperatures in refrigeration units, whether they be fixed or mobile, can always be guaranteed. And we can all feel a little bit better that the perishable foods we are eating are in fact safe for consumption. Believe it: cutting corners when it comes to food safety and proper storage isn't worth the nightmare of consequences that could erupt. If you tune in next week, you can learn more about a major food distributor that made a big mistake in the cold storage or their perishable foods and are now paying a serious price that could have been easily avoided had they had just taken more active steps to guarantee safe food storage and delivery.

    refrigeration monitoring guide, refrigeration best practice, freezer monitoring


    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refrigeration


    Written By:

    Kate Hofberg, Epicurean Essayist

    Temperature@lert’s resident foodie from sunny Santa Barbara, Kate Hofberg, creates weekly blog posts, manages the content database, and assists with the marketing team's projects. Balancing a love for both the west and east coast, Hofberg studied at University of California Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelors in Communications, and Boston University, where she is currently a Masters candidate in Journalism. Before coming to Temperature@lert, Hofberg trained in her foodie ways through consumption of extremely spicy, authentic Mexican food with her three brothers and managing a popular Santa Barbara beachside restaurant. Through her training and love of great food, she brings fresh methods of cooking up content. When Hofberg is not working on Temperature@lert marketing endeavors, she serves as a weekly opinion columnist for the Boston University independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Free Press. If time permits, Hofberg enjoys long walks, reading, playing with her cat, and eating pizza. Her ideal temperature is 115°F because she loves temperatures as hot and spicy as her food.

    Kate Hofberg

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  • Fuel Cell Powered Data Centers

    Fuel Cells are not new, so are they ready for prime time?


    Last year eBay made headlines when it announced what gigaom.com called a “first-of-its-kind fuel cell-powered data center.” (Link to Source) According to the article the Utah data center is “primarily powered by thirty fuel cells - devices that turn natural gas into electricity through a chemical reaction.” At first look one might ask, “Why is that a first-of-its-kind since all natural gas powered electricity generating power plants use the chemical reaction of combining methane with oxygen, a chemical reaction, that then is used to produce electricity?”, and they would be indignantly correct. The thing that is missing from the gigaom.com description is the word “directly”, so that the correct phrasing would sound something like, “primarily powered by thirty fuel cells - devices that turn natural gas directly into electricity through a chemical reaction.” Think of a battery, a fuel cell turns natural gas into electricity by a chemical reaction within the fuel cell and does not need an external device, similar to how a battery works. The difference is that unlike the battery, theoretically the fuel cell could operate forever, or at least until something within its structure fails to perform properly.


    The article continues noting an eBay spokesperson who describes the fuel cells as designed to supply the entire power needs of the data center; the site is linked to the local grid only for back up power. The spokesperson continued, “this architecture is not only an environmental step, but makes the data center more reliable and immune to grid blackouts.” A Forbes piece described the fuel cells as providing 6 of the 8 megawatts of power needed to run and cool the facility. The 6 megawatts are provided by five banks of Bloom Energy Servers, 30 units in total. One reason eBay is using fuel cell technology is to help meet its green energy initiatives. Bloom Energy and eBay note the fuel cells will use almost 50% less natural gas to produce electricity when compared to traditional gas fired power plants.


    eBay’s Utah data center employs 30 Bloom Energy Servers that convert natural gas directly into electricity through the use of fuel cell technology

    Fuel cells are not new. The earliest experiments date back to 1838, the devices used metal plates and an acidic solution, looked and operated much like the lead-acid batteries used in today’s standard automobiles.  


    Left: First fuel cells converted dissolved oxygen and hydrogen to electricity ( Link to Source), Right: Prototype Samsung methanol fuel cells (Link to Source) can deliver 1800 watt-hours of electricity, about as much as a small gasoline powered generator, and be recharged with methanol and water.


    The Bloom Energy Server is not a “server” in the IT sense but rather describes a collection of thousands of 25 watt solid oxide fuels cells that use natural gas (methane) as a fuel. Fuel cells are sandwiched together to form stacks. Stacks about the size of an average loaf of bread is able to power the average size home. Multiple stacks are aggregated into a power module, multiple power modules are aggregated to make up the units used at eBay’s Utah data center. (Link to Bloom Energy) Other data center operators such as Apple and NTT America have also deployed the devices in some of their data centers.



    Left: UC Irvine researchers (Link to Source) and Right: University of Maryland fuel cell data center projects in cooperation with Micosoft (Link to Source)



    Not to be left behind, Microsoft has embarked on a fuel cell equipped server rack wherein the fuel cell is placed in the bottom of the rack and sized to provide all the power needed by the IT equipment in the rack. Rather than bringing electrical cables to the racks, natural gas lines are installed. Advantages enumerated by the joint Microsoft/UC Irvine researchers include lower capital costs for a new build and greater efficiency since the fuel cells DC output can be used directly without conversion. The researchers claim that the efficiency of the rack mounted fuel cells improves the net energy efficiency from 40% to more than 53% when compared to a centralized fuel cell installation located outside the computer room. (Link to Source) Similarly, Microsoft’s fuel cell project with the University of Maryland explores alternate approaches to data center power.


    One needs to ask why is this a green technology when the efficiency of a modern combined cycle gas fired electrical generating plant is approaching 60%. (Link to Source) Transmission losses in the USA average 6%, leaving a net efficiency over 50%. The Microsoft project researchers point out one other potentially compelling reason, because each rack has its own power plant the data center is less susceptible to power outages from the grid and less susceptible to overall data center power loss. In the world of ever increasing uptime pressure this would seem to be an interesting development.


    The real issue is real Return on Investment (RoI).  Today’s fuel cells are not cheap. Since the installations noted above and university experiments are not rich with cost data the jury is still out as to the potential payback. In fact some question efficiency claims by commercial fuel cell providers and some have data to dispute marketing claims. Contaminated fuel cells can also generate toxic wastes during combustion of natural gas. (Link to Source) We will need to wait for the data to be released, and more than just cost data. All costs including toxic waste disposal, tax breaks, special incentives and other perks will need to be revealed to make the case that fuel cells are cost-effective alternatives. For now maybe claims about green energy and reliability will provide the marketing lift data center operators can use to entice customers their way.

    temperature monitor for server room, best practices for server room overheating, server room overheating, server room monitor

    Written By:

    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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  • Food Transportation: Where Does Your Food Come From?


    Imagine yourself sitting down for dinner at your favorite restaurant or at the cafe down the street for a quick bite on your lunch break. On your plate in front of you sits a chicken sandwich with extra mayo and Swiss cheese and a big, heaping side of potato salad. Besides the thoughts that are running through your head about how satisfying that first bite is going to be not only for your taste buds, but also your growling stomach, are you ever thinking about the journey - sometimes long, sometimes short - the ingredients of that sandwich and potato salad went on to end up on the plate in front of you? The answer is probably not, because by ordering that sandwich and salad from a credible food service establishment that you eat at regularly, you trust that the restaurant, and the distributors who delivered the food products, followed food safety regulations and protocols for storage and delivery, and you inherently trust that your meal is safe to eat. But how do you know that you can really trust that the chicken breast laying on your ciabatta was actually kept at safe temperatures from its packaging to its plating? The scary truth is that, actually, you can't. 

    There are strict rules set forth to food handlers and preparers by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about the temperatures for storing and transporting food, so it's easy to see why thoughts of how your food reached your plate rarely, if ever, pop into your head. But, what if you found out that on its journey to your favorite restaurant, or the cafe down the street, the ingredients of your chicken sandwich sat for hours in an unrefrigerated, unregulated storage locker with temperatures that may have reached up to 105°F? What if you found out that the refrigerator truck that delivered the food to the restaurant you are eating at were kept at anything but cold? Or what if you learned that not only was the chicken that your about to dig your teeth into was not only stored at improper temperatures, but in storage units that were a far cry from sanitary? Chances are, you may have second guesses about eating anything perishable, or even eating out at all, for that matter. 

    It's no secret that refrigeration plays a vital part in maintaining the health and safety of perishable food items like dairy, meat, poultry, seafood and produce, and if ideal temperatures aren't maintained throughout the cold chain then the potential for bacterial growth and spoilage increase exponentially. Even still, with all the knowledge we have about food safety today, food born diseases are a far more serious and frequent problem than many people realize. In fact, according to the FDA, the Federal government estimates that there are roughly, 48 million cases of food born illness outbreaks annually. That's 1 in 6 Americans every year! What's worse is that each year these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. They're alarming statistics, not only because of the staggering number of people that are dying each year due to food related illnesses, but because with refrigeration technologies of the modern day, there should be no reason that the number of fatalities should be that high! Sure, it's true that not all food born illnesses are a result of poor refrigeration practices, but they certainly don't help. Actually, according to the FDA, the number of bacteria that cause food born sickness in consumers can double every 20 minutes on food stored at room temperature!

    In a day in age where eating a meal out is the norm where, according to the National Restaurant Association, two in five consumers say that eating in restaurants is an essential part of their lifestyle and where restaurant-industry sales are projected to total $683.4 billion in 2014, it is of paramount importance that we start paying better attention to the journey that our food makes on its way to our plates, so that we can be sure that what we are about to consume for lunch won't kill us.


    Refrigeration is key. Currently, up to 33% of perishable foods are lost during transportation, not to mention the loss of product due to improper storage at retail level. For the food industry, that's about $35 billion in annual reported losses of perishable product. Yikes.

    As a former restaurant manager of a hugely successful seafood restaurant in California who worked closely with food distributors, health inspectors and kitchen staff, I understand the importance of saving money and product, but it hits close to home for me when I hear horror stories about the improper storage of food, inadequate delivery vehicles and illness outbreaks. Under no circumstance should the health and safety of a customer be compromised for profit.

    By exploring the history of refrigeration, exposing cases of unacceptable refrigeration practices of major food distributors, investigating the journey our food takes in refrigeration trucks and reiterating the importance of maintaining the cold chain, throughout this series I hope to reveal how adhering to simple refrigeration practices and continuously, automatically monitoring temperature, at all stages of food production and transportation, can reduce the number of food born illness cases we encounter in the United States annually. Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels and what excuse is there, really, for breaks in the cold chain, when there are products available that efficiently, accurately and affordably monitor temperature? Not only would all members of the cold chain be able to protect more food from spoilage and bacterial infection, but also their customers could enjoy their food safely without having to worry about illness.

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    Sources: 

    1. http://www.restaurant.org/Downloads/PDFs/News-Research/research/Factbook2014_LetterSize.pdf
    2. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm253954.htm


    Written By:

    Kate Hofberg, Epicurean Essayist

    Temperature@lert’s resident foodie from sunny Santa Barbara, Kate Hofberg, creates weekly blog posts, manages the content database, and assists with the marketing team's projects. Balancing a love for both the west and east coast, Hofberg studied at University of California Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelors in Communications, and Boston University, where she is currently a Masters candidate in Journalism. Before coming to Temperature@lert, Hofberg trained in her foodie ways through consumption of extremely spicy, authentic Mexican food with her three brothers and managing a popular Santa Barbara beachside restaurant. Through her training and love of great food, she brings fresh methods of cooking up content. When Hofberg is not working on Temperature@lert marketing endeavors, she serves as a weekly opinion columnist for the Boston University independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Free Press. If time permits, Hofberg enjoys long walks, reading, playing with her cat, and eating pizza. Her ideal temperature is 115°F because she loves temperatures as hot and spicy as her food.

    Kate Hofberg


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  • HACCP Principle 2: Determine The Critical Control Points

    Easy to imagine, may be more difficult to do.


    HACCP, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, begins with a Hazard Analysis. Now that the actual and potential hazards are identified, hopefully as an “honest broker” with “fresh eyes” as was discussed in the previous piece, it’s time to look at the Critical Control Points, CCPs. As was noted about conducting a Hazard Analysis, Determining the Critical Control Points (CCPs) is easy to imagine, but may be more difficult to do.


    Assuming the hazards are well identified, one can imagine there may already be controls in place. For example, if a large industrial or commercial grinder or mixer is used to grind or blend ingredients, the opening may be large enough for a person’s arm to be inserted and injured. Many times these invaluable machines come with some sort of safety devices designed in to prevent such occurrences. The safety guard is intended to prevent injury to workers by preventing them from being injured or their clothing from being caught and potentially drawing them into the machine.  


    Many times workers are often in a hurry or the safety device is misplaced and they proceed to use the mixer without it. While the worker believes they will be safe and thankfully accidents do not often happen, they don’t realize the safety guards may also prevent items from inadvertently falling into the food and potentially being broken up by the mixer into small, difficult to see pieces, posing a hazard from physical objects to those who consume them. Not using the devices therefore poses not only a safety hazard to the operator but to the consumer of the food as well. The CCP to prevent such an occurrence is the use of the safety guard.


    Mixing machines with and without guard. Not only are workers using such machines without safety devices in place exposed to dangerous hazards, but items can fall into the mixers more easily causing a hazard to the consumer. Links to images Left to Right (Link to Source, Link to Source, Link to Source)


    Additionally, consider when assessing the use of the mixer that the introduction of hazardous biological materials may be possible. Certainly employees handle food with bare hands, but the potential for contamination from microorganisms on the skin are a real concern. And in the above photo on the right the worker is wearing a hat that can help prevent hair from falling into the food, but is this hat reserved for work or worn at other times during the worker’s non work life? And the apron that is inside the bowl may have been clean when the shift started, but what potential biological hazards does it contain during this operation? In these cases the guard could again prevent an employee’s hand or clothing contaminating the food. The CCPs in these cases would be the washing of the operator’s hands, the use of sanitary headcovers and work clothing that are resanitized regularly. The CCPs would include making sure that the hand, headgear and clothing cleaning is sufficient to remove harmful microorganisms. In operations where cleaning chemicals are used, one CCP is training workers in the proper use of the chemicals. An additional CCP could be inspection of storage areas and practices to insure the cleaners are not in the food preparation area unless they are to be used. It is easy to put the cleaner on the shelf during the cleaning operation and then forget about it being there, leading to a potential hazard. Pesticides and maintenance chemicals will require additional consideration to enact the proper CCPs.


    Continuing with the mixer, the introduction of hazardous chemicals need also be considered. The mixer is typically cleaned regularly using chemical cleaners that while they may be considered nontoxic can potentially cause some sort of stomach distress. The CCP here would be to insure proper cleaning to eliminate or reduce harmful microorganisms to non hazardous levels but also to insure proper rinsing to remove all traces of cleaning chemicals. Another area to consider is storage of cleaners and such materials. The CCP review will want to examine whether or not cleaners and other chemicals such as pesticides are stored above food preparation areas such as the mixer. This way inadvertent spills or leaks will be prevented.



    Whether it’s a large commercial bakery oven (Left: Link to Source) or a home electric range (Center: Link to Source), both require a temperature sensor and controller (thermostat) (Right: Link to Source) to insure the oven temperature is maintained at the proper setting for baking and killing potential dangerous microorganisms that may be present.


    Taking a look at larger scale commercial or industrial processes, many employ full automation and control, a national bread bakery for example. CCPs are generally well identified and the appropriate controls are in place. Often there are an array of sensors to measure every factor in the process: weight of each ingredient, preparation temperature, time, and in some instances color, smell and taste which advanced sensors can perform for some products. Sensing whether by a person, machine or in a laboratory is important to help identify the control point. In an oven or freezer for example, temperature sensors will need to be placed where the temperature is critical to be effective in helping control hazards such as microorganisms. The point of control in this example the operation where the temperature needs to be achieved to kill a germ in the case of the oven or prevent germs from multiplying in the case of the freezer. The actual control in the oven is not the sensor but the thermostat it’s attached to that turns on or off the heat supply to maintain the temperature. The CCP determination in this example is to make sure the oven reaches and maintains the proper temperature for the required time not only to insure the product is baked properly but the insure that harmful microorganisms are killed.


    The CCP determination may add an additional step, taking the internal temperature of the baked food for example. Some can relate to this when they visit a restaurant that will only serve hamburgers cooked medium or more since the management believes this will help insure that dangerous microorganisms such as salmonella or e coli are killed whereas they may not be if the beef were prepared rare.


    The key to determining the CCPs is they are the Points where the Control whether automatic or manual can make a difference. Training and awareness will need to be institutionalized not only by the HACCP team members but the entire operation. The team will want to include those most familiar with the operations and procedures to insure their list is complete. And the rule of thumb is even if it seems unlikely, include it. Seeing food related illness headlines almost daily lead me to counsel excess caution even where none would normally be called for.


    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 food processor, distributor, wholesale or retail outlet 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.

    Temperature@lert monitoring ebook, Temperature monitoring book, ebook monitoring guide

    Written By:

    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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  • IT Team: Want A Temperature Monitoring Device But Don’t Know How To Justify It?

    Examples of RoI for Environmental Monitoring at SMB.

    Recently a professional social media group called Data Center Engineering posed an interesting exchange that led to a discussion about RoI (Return on Investment) for DCIM including Environmental Monitoring devices. Philip Peterson, CEO of AdInfa, a data center energy management software supplier of tools that are primarily used for asset management but have been used for environmental and power monitoring among other things asked the question, “BMS vs DCIM: where do you draw the line?”

    The topic of BSM (Building Services Management) vs DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) prompted a lively exchange. The member who posed the question added in a later post, “This brings up another point, too - how is an RoI calculated for such a system typically and what is deemed as an acceptable payback period?”


    A member presented the following in response. “Some ROIs that 'should' be common for a DCIM software package include: Reduced time to find equipment in the DC, Reduced time to fault find failures in the DC, Reduced time to perform MAC work in the DC, especially remote/unmanned sites.”


    DCIM and BSM packages are generally expensive and require a host of staff resources. Their The RoI of BSM can generally be measured but the RoI of DCIM is not well understood and in many cases not easily measured. This is because DCIM is not well defined, there is no “standard” DCIM package, customers can pick from a large menu of available features, options, services, support and other choices, and given that each customer likely has a unique configuration, the number of permutations is very large. And how does one quantify the “Reduced time to find equipment in the DC”? Man-minutes or hours of a technician’s time, team of techs, team of techs plus manager in cases where the equipment is difficult to locate and finding it is critical? And if the latter, the value of the time to write a report outlining why the equipment was difficult to find, a task force to look at current and propose revised procedures, and a team to implement and train everyone so the problem doesn’t happen again is very likely.


    Are there lessons here for SMBs (Small and Mid-Sized Businesses) to help understand the RoI of Environmental Monitoring devices? Maybe, and it could in large part depend on the company’s usage of their IT assets to drive business. Let’s take some easy example: SMBs with 100% online revenue generation and annual revenues from $1 to $5 million. The following chart presents the potential lost business for a 24 hour outage. In this example a company with $5 million annual revenue will lose $14,000 per day of sales revenue.



    Simple Linear Model of Daily Revenue vs. SMB Annual Revenue


    Continuing with the $5 million annual revenue example, let’s assume the outage was due to a temperature excursion because the AC system failed and took down the company’s servers. The company hosts its own e-commerce system so no business could be transacted during the outage. Most of the equipment recovered but a server and a disc drive had to be replaced costing approximately $2,000. IT consultants who maintain the servers put in 16 hours to configure and install the devices, adding another $1,600 to the cost, for a total of $3,600 in equipment related cost.


    From the graph, the company generates an average of $14,000 per day in revenue. For this discussion, assume the company’s products are not unique but rather they are a good competitor in a field of good competitors. For this model let’s assume 50% of the customers wait for the ecommerce system to return, the others choose competitive suppliers. The result is a loss of $7,000 in revenue with an overhang of an additional $7,000 of lost revenue since in the company’s experience many customers return within six months for additional purchases. Therefore total revenue loss related to this incident is $14,000. Add to that equipment related costs of $3,600 and you have a total impact of $17,000.


    Assume the temperature excursion could have been picked up by a simple temperature monitoring device, Temperature@lert’s WiFi Edition for example, at a cost of $300. Assuming a six month financial impact period, the RoI is 3.2 days. Adding Temperature@lert’s Sensor Cloud service for $10 per month, which allows customers to receive alerts when the device has not checked in due to an electrical power, communications or network error, increases the RoI to nine days for the first year of operation.


    The difficulty with this model is we cannot predict that the AC system will fail and a failure will take down an e-commerce system. However, companies cannot predict whether or not an employee or customer will be injured at their facility or by their products or services, yet they buy insurance against such possibilities. And that insurance is significantly more costly than a one-time cost of $300 for temperature monitoring services..


    Many Temperature@lert customers come to us after an event has occurred. Many live in urban areas with known power supply and AC challenges due to their being in older buildings with HVAC systems that are not designed for the additional cooling load of a server room, especially if it is in an unventilated storage closet. And while being able to monitor temperature excursions and send out alerts does not guarantee the AC outage will not cause problems, in many cases it provides enough time for someone to respond and head off the incident.


     

    SMB Server Rooms: These types of installations are very common and while inexpensive leave businesses exposed to overheating problems. (Links to Sources: Left ; Right)


    One additional comment regarding RoI:  In industry conferences, IT equipment OEMs and customers such as large telecoms have noted that temperature excursions may not cause immediate failure of electronics, but rather higher than average intermittent performance issues or failures are seen over the next several months. These later issues are additional RoI inputs, especially for SMBs that, unlike large Data Centers or Telecoms do not change out their servers or other devices on two or three years cycles. Often the IT infrastructure at many SMBs is five-plus years old with some legacy systems approaching ten years, meaning they have been stressed several times during their service life which makes them even more prone to intermittent issues or failure.


    DCIM systems may be difficult to specify, justify the cost or calculate the RoI. They often require extensive installation, maintenance and training resources and continuous analysis of the data to make them useful, meaning staff resources will need to have time dedicated to these tasks. Simple, low-cost environmental monitoring devices can are easy to install and setup, and perform the simple task of letting their users know when there is a problem coming or one that has occurred. Small and MidSized Businesses will be well served by these devices.

    temperature monitoring, IT monitor, overheating server room, server room temperature


    Written By:

    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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  • Chicken Consumption And Temperature Series Wrap-Up: Poultry Storage And Preparation In Commercial Kitchens


    And so, the chicken hatched as a healthy egg, was transported to the farm under ideal conditions, was raised to it's peak, was processed in a facility that was cold and clean and now, you're eyeing a menu item that features the popular protein. Temperature mattered in all the stages of the poultry's life, and when it comes to storage and preparation in your favorite restaurant, or even at home, things are no different. The bottom line is that temperature always matters to a chicken.

    Once the chicken, that you're are craving so bad, gets to the restaurant or the grocery store that you buy from, it is extremely important that it has been stored at cold temperatures since packaging. This is because refrigeration is key in slowing bacterial growth. Unfortunately, bacteria exist everywhere in nature – in the soil, air, water and foods we eat. But when these bacteria have the right conditions, such as nutrients, moisture and favorable temperatures, they can grow extremely rapidly and increase to the point where consumption of them can cause serious human illness.

    At this point, you might be able to guess that temperature is one of the biggest factors that affects bacterial growth in perishable foods, like poultry. Where food safety is the top concern for almost every commercial kitchen, temperature, and also time, play a huge role in whether or not food is safe to eat by customers or needs to be thrown away. This means that monitoring and observing appropriate temperatures in refrigeration units is key for foodservice operators who want to decrease the potential of bacterial growth and assure maximum shelf life and food safety.

    Today, refrigerated storage is the one of the most widely practiced methods for controlling bacterial growth in perishable foods because bacterial growth slows to a much slower rate in colder temperatures. The growth of bateria, even in refrigerators, does not completely stop it's development – that's why food can still go bad in the refrigerator. Still, in order to minimize spoilage potential, storage of food items in cold temperatures is essential. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the temperature, the greater the potential for microbial growth.

    There are two kinds of bacteria that perishable foods are susceptible to contracting: pathogenic bacteria, the kind of microbials that cause food-borne illnesses in consumers, and spoilage bacteria, which is the kind of bacteria that cause foods to develop unpleasant odors, tastes and textures.

    Pathogenic bacteria are usually more dangerous because they are more difficult to detect because they do not generally affect the taste, smell or appearance of the infected food. The main pathogens of concern for the foodservice industry are campylobacter, e. coli and salmonella because they are the most common food-borne pathogens associated with human illness in the United States, according to Food Safety Magazine (http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2012january-2013/poultry-safety-in-an-ever-changing-world/).

    These bacteria grow most rapidly in temperatures dubbed the "Danger Zone", which is the range of temperatures between 40° F and 140° F. That is why refrigeration units must be kept colder than these range of temperatures. If foods like poultry remain in this "Danger Zone" for too long, irreversable damage can be done because there is no way to kill off the present baterias in order to make the food safe for consumption. In some cases, bacterias exposed to "Danger Zone" temperatures can double in as little as 20 mintues! After two hours in warm temperatures, throwing the food away is the only choice, because there will be virtually too much bacteria present.

    So for human safety reasons, it is important to control the storage temperature of refrigerated foods up until the time of their preparation. Temperature control is essential, not only to maintain the microbiological safety of the poultry but to minimize changes in the chemical and physical properties of the food. Unfortunately, and this is where the bad news comes. Even though poultry manufacturers and retailers are required to operate under specific temperature standards, past surveys conducted in the U.S. have shown that 20 percent of refrigeration units operate at temperatures under 50° F, not 40° F (http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2005january-2006/issues-in-time-and-temperature-abuse-of-refrigerated-foods/).

    But there is good news, and that is, that temperature monitoring and observation doesn't need to be such a time consuming and laborious task. Usually, temperatures are built with thermometers to measure their internal temperatures, or for refrigerator units without this built-in feature, thermometers can be purchased and placed in strategic places in the unit. But actually, there is an even easier way to monitor temperatures in refrigerators to guarantee safety.

    With automatic and continuous temperature sensing technologies that can be easily installed in refrigeration units, readings of temperatures can be done without taking time out of the busy kitchen staff's schedule. The automatic readings of temperature take place at consistent intervals of time with temperature sensors, and if temperatures reach dangerously warm or cold levels, alerts are immediately sent to the appropriate people so that problems with perishable foods, like chicken, can be solved before it is too late. For a society that's eating more ad more chicken every day, it would be a shame to have to throw it away before it could be enjoyed just because of improper storage. But, throwing away large amounts of product can be a thing of the past with temperature sensing technology that's easy, affordable and accurate!

    As we have discussed for the past couple of weeks, from the chicken egg to your chicken sandwich, temperature matters! To make sure that the product you are consuming is safe, and delicious, adhering to temperature standards is vital and so easy! Wouldn't it be nice if you never had to worry about food-borne illness from poultry again? With temperature@lert systems, it's not just wishful thinking, it's reality.

    temperature monitoring guide, best refrigeration practices, fridge monitor, freezer monitor, refrigerator monitor, walk-in cooler monitor


    Sources:

    1. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/934c2c81-2a3d-4d59-b6ce-c238fdd45582/Refrigeration_and_Food_Safety.pdf?MOD=AJPERES
    2. http://www.foodservicewarehouse.com/education/product-safety-public-health/food-safety-temperatures-and-the-danger-zone-/c28151.aspx
    3. http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2005january-2006/issues-in-time-and-temperature-abuse-of-refrigerated-foods/
    4. http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/december-2012january-2013/poultry-safety-in-an-ever-changing-world/

    Written By:

    Kate Hofberg, Epicurean Essayist

    Temperature@lert’s resident foodie from sunny Santa Barbara, Kate Hofberg, creates weekly blog posts, manages the content database, and assists with the marketing team's projects. Balancing a love for both the west and east coast, Hofberg studied at University of California Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelors in Communications, and Boston University, where she is currently a Masters candidate in Journalism. Before coming to Temperature@lert, Hofberg trained in her foodie ways through consumption of extremely spicy, authentic Mexican food with her three brothers and managing a popular Santa Barbara beachside restaurant. Through her training and love of great food, she brings fresh methods of cooking up content. When Hofberg is not working on Temperature@lert marketing endeavors, she serves as a weekly opinion columnist for the Boston University independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Free Press. If time permits, Hofberg enjoys long walks, reading, playing with her cat, and eating pizza. Her ideal temperature is 115°F because she loves temperatures as hot and spicy as her food.

    Kate Hofberg

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  • HACCP Principle 1: Conduct A Hazard Analysis

    The first HACCP implementation principle requires a “fresh pair of eyes”.


    HACCP, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points, begins with a Hazard Analysis. Earlier we looked at the concepts behind the word Hazard and the word Analysis as applied to HACCP. In principle seeing hazards should be easy. In practice this is rarely the case.


    MBWA, the acronym for Management By Walking Around is a good start for HACCP Hazard Analysis. The thing to remember is that working in the same environment every day we can become accustom to people, practices and procedures in our workplace. It’s easy to overlook the employee that looks a little ill, the temporary replacement that isn’t quite following procedures during a colleague’s vacation, or the food processing machine with the lid left off and the potential to introduce foreign materials greatly increased. It’s another thing to see these as an honest broker, a person or HACCP team who sees with fresh, new eyes can view the operation, facility, staff, etc. without the built in “blinders” we may have developed.


    But what does the Hazard Analyzer looks for? Again the FDA definition of Hazard, things that compromise food safety or health, is instructive. A Hazard is a biological, chemical or physical agent that is reasonably likely to cause illness or injury in the absence of its control.


     


    http://www.ncfpd.umn.edu/index.cfm/tools/links/  http://resprofsp.com/how-an-internal-audit-will-improve-food-safety/


    So what’s on the list of things to look for? Starting with the easiest to see, chemical agents that are reasonably or likely to cause illness or injury. One can imagine a food producing, processing or distribution operation having many such chemicals. An obvious list would contain pest control poisons, cleaning chemicals, equipment maintenance chemicals such as lubricating oil, and site maintenance chemicals such as paints. These items are certainly needed, the question is how are they stored and used? At home we store cleaners in cabinets underneath the sink where we do not store food, and these cabinets have safety locks if little children are present. And when we use them we put foods away or move them away from areas that could be potentially contaminated, by overspray for example. Likewise, paints, solvents, oils and pesticides are stored in the garage or basement, hopefully away from food altogether and away from little hands if children are present. Checking the labels of all products for their potential to harm a person from exposure or ingestion is a good start. Monitoring those who use them to determine if their methods have the potential to contaminate food products is also a good idea. This is not to point fingers but is intended to be both educational and thorough.


    Physical agents that are reasonably or likely to cause illness or injury can include small, sharp items such as pins and needles, bits of broken glass, broken ceramics (i.e. mugs and plates), or metal objects (i.e. knife tips that break off) that can become lost in food. In this regard the analysis team will want to look for small items stored above food preparation or storage areas and the condition of cooking and food preparation utensils. I recall finding a large piece of broken glass in a five gallon ice cream container inside a freezer during my high school days busboy job. The glass came from a sherbet cup. These cups were stored on a shelf above the cooler, stacked three or four high and could easily fall and break on the cooler surface if one were not careful, and finding all the pieces can be difficult. Thankfully the broken glass piece was fairly large and easily spotted. And the owner, to his credit, said to toss out the remaining product, inspect all other tubs and throw out any others that were suspect. An inspection also needs to look for the location of small or breakable items or chemical agents stored above food preparation or storage areas.



    Physical hazards (Left: Link to Source) may be easier to spot than microorganism hazards (Right: Link to Source). Laboratories are needed to insure safe foods if microorganism contamination is suspected.  Preferably such inspections occur at the producer or processor level prior to shipment, but not always as recent headlines have shown.

    Biological hazards may be visible but are often too small to be seen. Rodents and their droppings, insects, mold and the like are visible with thorough inspection. More difficult to see are microorganisms. Sometimes these “germs” can be seen, in the case of mold for example. Sometime their effect can be sensed with our noses, spoiled milk or cheese for example, or feel, the texture of spoiled meats or produce comes to mind. Sometimes the microorganisms cannot be detected, salmonella or e coli for example. These can only be detected through laboratory analysis. The HACCP team will need to keep products likely to contain harmful microorganisms in mind when developing procedures for food preparation. And if a Quality department is in the organization, certificates of inspection or certification of the supplier’s process can go a long way to alleviate but not eliminate concerns.


    Again, the key is to perform the Hazard Analysis with “fresh eyes”, as an honest broker. By doing this the HACCP team will hopefully earn the trust of the entire organization and no one area or department will feel singled out. On to Principle 2 in our next piece.


    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 food processor, distributor, wholesale or retail outlet 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.

    refrigeration monitor, refrigeration monitoring, fridge monitor, freezer monitor


    Written By:

    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

    Full story

  • ALERT: Service Maintenance Announcement For Group Of T-MOBILE CELL Users

    T-Mobile will be performing system maintenance for a 90 minute window starting at approximately 3:00 AM Eastern on July 3, 2014. Maintenance will be performed to limit the disruption to wireless data traffic flow. However, T-Mobile CELL devices may experience intermittent network connectivity during this. Please make sure to set up a missed report alert if you are concerned about connectivity issues. 

    sensor cloud, Temperature@lert Sensor Cloud, missed report alert


    Temperature@lert will monitor this maintenance closely. Temperature@lert will keep you updated on the status of this on our blog and social media.

    Thank you for choosing Temperature@lert for your monitoring needs and please do not hesitate to contact us at support@temperaturealert.com, if you have questions about your service.


    Full story

  • Chicken Consumption And Temperature: Processing Poultry - The End Of The Road

    Unfortunately, the end of the road has come for the chickens that we've been tracking since their hatching, and now it's time to discuss how they go from pecking at feed to processed meat thats ready to cook. As far as temperature is concerned, it's no longer so important to maintain the comfort of the  birds who are about to be butchered, but more about creating an environment that allows for the safe production of poultry that is fit for human consumption. Sorry chicks, we just can't resist your tender tasting meat!

    In order to ensure that the poultry that is processed is safe and sanitary for human consumption, it is extremely important to maintain specific and different temperatures at different stages in the process. Because poultry product is susceptible to a variety of biological, chemical and physical contaminants if not stored and transported under appropriate conditions, it is extremely important to monitor temperatures in poultry processing facilities. Not only can inadequate controls to protect the meat endanger the safety of the product, but the spoilage or multiplication of disease-causing microorganisms or parasites could present a serious risk to human health. Generally, temperatures are kept cool to prevent spoilage of the poultry product and to conform to the USDA requirements that the meat of chicken be kept at temperatures of 40° F.

    Once the chickens arrive at the plant they go through a series of processing stages before they become a product ready for human preparation. The only time that climate conditions matter to the living birds is when the chickens first arrive at the processing plant. At this stage, it is important that the chickens get adequate ventilation in the holding area because this minimizes premature mortality rates and excessive live shrink. Weight loss by the chickens during the time period between their last feeding and their slaughter is what "live shrink" refers to and it is important because if chickens shrink excessively, it can have a significant affect on the meat that is yielded from the chickens. Even though the chickens are there to die anyways, poultry processors can't use the chickens that have died before they get to the boiler room, for health and sanitation reasons.

    After the chickens have been stunned with electrical currents from two to 11 seconds, the bird is rendered unconscious, to make the boiling process more humane. The boiling of the chickens also affects the bleeding, feather release and overall meat quality. After the chickens bleed, they are scalded by immersion in a tank of extremely hot water, for times ranging from one-and-a-half to three-and-a-half minutes, depending on the water temperature. The scalding process is important because it facilitates easier feather removal from the chickens.

    Once the chickens have been scalded and de-feathered, they are then taken to a room that is chilled to 40° F. This is an extremely important stage in the processing of the poultry product, because if the scalded and cleaned chickens do not get into rooms at colder temperatures within four hours of their slaughter, they are much more likely to contract bacterial diseases and mircobial spoilage. The rapid chilling of the chicken carcasses not only limits the growth of pathogenic bacteria on the poultry, but also, increases the chicken products shelf-life dramatically.

    When the chickens have been chilled, they are ready for packaging. At this stage, according to USDA regulations, not only must the packaging room maintain temperatures of 40° F or less, but also, the internal temperature of the chickens must also be at a temperature of 40° F or less. This cool temperature must be maintained throughout the storage and shipping stages, because if the product ever becomes warm, it falls into a danger zone in which it could become infected with bacteria, that no person wants to eat. In fact, it is during this stage of the poultry process that the meat is most likely to contract salmonella. Yikes.


    Once the chickens have been properly cooled and packaged, they are ready for transport to grocery stores, and ready to be eaten by hungry people who just can't seem to get enough lean meat! There are also important temperature standards during this stage of the chicken's journey to your plate because during the transport of the chicken product, the poultry must remain could enough to minimize bacterial infection potential. It is vital that all packaged and ready-to-eat poultry be delivered in refrigerated vehicles that are able to maintain temperatures of 40° F for chilled poultry so that the temperature of the chickens themselves never reach above 44° F. For frozen chicken products, vehicles must remain at temperatures of -.5° or below, so that the packaged product never gets above 10° F on it's transport. This means that the vehicles that are transporting the product must be advanced enough to adequately insulate and maintain cool temperatures to not only prevent warming, but also, condensation, which facilitates the growth of bacteria.

    For chicken products that are traveling far distances before they reach their final destinations, although it seems easy to suggest that the trucks should be efficiently refrigerated, it is important to monitor temperatures of the trucks so that they never reach dangerous levels. It's unrealistic to assume that the drivers of the trucks are going to pull over every hour to check the temperatures of the products that they are carrying because it's a time consuming, uneconomical and impractical way of ensuring product health.

    But don't worry. There's an easier way to guarantee that the chicken you are eating is safe. It is a task that can be made exponentially easier by having it done automatically with the availability of efficient and accurate temperature monitoring systems that can alert appropriate people when something goes wrong and temperatures reach dangerous levels. With temperature monitoring devices the health of poultry products be more accurately guaranteed safe for consumption. With Cellular temperature monitors placed in fixed locations in the transport vehicles, the appropriate people can not only receive e-mails if temperatures fall out of range into dangerous zones, but also, check daily temperature logs to ensure that eggs are being stored and raised properly and safely.

    Temperature@lert CELL device



    Sources:

    1. http://www.nclabor.com/osha/etta/indguide/ig34.pdf
    2. http://www.ava.gov.sg/NR/rdonlyres/D9D05A1F-1DB0-4EA3-9A0E-C08B84B5CF3D/13221/slaughterhouselicencecon_Jun09.pdf
    3. http://books.google.com/books?id=UCjhDRSPl3wC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=poultry+live+shrink&source=bl&ots=eOu33E4lO5&sig=x20nDuylfjFeudvUDE3dUYZmYaw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bbZ8U9LWEafLsQSu64Fw&ved=0CCYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=poultry%20live%20shrink&f=false
    4. http://www.bccdc.ca/NR/rdonlyres/61C0B237-8884-4D64-A4A0-139B8CE46471/0/GuidelinesfortheSafeTransportationofCarcassesPoultryMeatProducts.pdf

    Written By:

    Kate Hofberg, Epicurean Essayist

    Temperature@lert’s resident foodie from sunny Santa Barbara, Kate Hofberg, creates weekly blog posts, manages the content database, and assists with the marketing team's projects. Balancing a love for both the west and east coast, Hofberg studied at University of California Santa Barbara, where she received a Bachelors in Communications, and Boston University, where she is currently a Masters candidate in Journalism. Before coming to Temperature@lert, Hofberg trained in her foodie ways through consumption of extremely spicy, authentic Mexican food with her three brothers and managing a popular Santa Barbara beachside restaurant. Through her training and love of great food, she brings fresh methods of cooking up content. When Hofberg is not working on Temperature@lert marketing endeavors, she serves as a weekly opinion columnist for the Boston University independent student-run newspaper, The Daily Free Press. If time permits, Hofberg enjoys long walks, reading, playing with her cat, and eating pizza. Her ideal temperature is 115°F because she loves temperatures as hot and spicy as her food.

    Kate Hofberg

    Full story

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