Recent events of norovirus, salmonella and E.coli breakouts in major restaurant chains have been hard to stomach, but are fortunately leading to some much needed attention around avoiding food poisoning. Consumers and food providers alike are realizing the importance in training and educating food handlers to understand the dangers of cross contamination, proper food handling, and rigorous temperature control monitoring.
We could talk for days around the issue of food safety, but today let’s focus on our friend, Comark, and how testing food temperatures can insure the safety of your customers, staff, and business as a whole.
A Little About Comark
Comark Instruments was created in 1961 and is now a leading international manufacturer of high quality thermometers, data loggers, and other food safety instruments. Comark’s goal is to help food industry establishments follow HAACP regulations put forth by the Food and Drug Administration. Today, the company is focusing on the introduction of paperless temperature logging. This revolution is helping businesses keep records, down to the minute, of food temperature monitoring without using thousands of sheets of paper. Let’s take a look at what Comark has to offer, and how their instruments can help you develop a stronger food safety program in your restaurant or kitchen.
Be a Hall Monitor for Food Safety
When handling food, it’s important to know that bacteria (like salmonella) can grow to dangerous levels if stored between 40° F and 140°F – otherwise known as the “Temperature Danger Zone.” Basically, if you store your food in between this temperature range, or don’t cook it to the correct temp, you’re sending an open invitation to harmful bacteria to relax, stay awhile, multiply, and then attack the insides of anyone consuming your food.
For visual reference, here’s our infographic on Safe Temperatures for Food Service. Study it! Learn in! Hang it up in YOUR kitchen today!
The Instruments You Need to be a Food Safety Hero
Tundra offers a complete selection of products from Comark. For cooking and handling purposes, many chefs look to pocket test thermometers like the DT400 or the waterproof PDQ400, which can be stored in those nifty sleeve pockets of their chef coats and easily removed to test cooking and holding temperatures. Everybody asks us for “that great blue thermometer” and we know they mean a PDQ400 or the PDT300 (our most popular). But these thermometers are not only quick, reliable, and accurate—the fact that they are waterproof means you could actually run them through a commercial dishwasher to test the temperature of the rinse cycle (which needs to reach 180°) instead of using those expensive disposable test strips. Win – Win!
There’s also the need to test the temperature of any perishable products you receive from deliveries each day. For this important task, we suggest infrared thermometers, which measure the infrared radiation being emitted by the product. This allows the user to test the food without actually touching it, which greatly reduces the potential of bacteria being transmitted from the product, allows you to test packaged food without opening it, and also omits the time it takes to clean a probe in between tests.
As mentioned above, maintaining safe temperatures isn’t the only step in preventing food borne illnesses and food poisoning. Many establishments use food safety logs (printed paper) to record – every day, every few hours – the steps taken in checking and correcting proper storage, handling, and cooking practices are being upheld. While these places are doing their due diligence (and protecting themselves from future liabilities) imagine the amount of paper this uses. It’s not only wasteful, but also difficult to keep organized for future reference. Comark recognized the need to “go digital” and created Data Loggers that not only store information digitally, but allow you to download and analyze that data locally on your computers as well. Check out the HAACP Touch Screen Data Recorder (pictured left) which works with any K-type thermometer probe, uses a micro USB cable so you can program the device, charge the battery, and download data to your computer. This baby stores up to 65,000 records which you can organize into separate folders for instant retrieval by date or product. Cool! Because there’s so much to know and understand about the abilities of these data loggers, we have even more information for you right here.
At Tundra Restaurant Supply, we take food safety very seriously and we want to do all we can to help you gear up (and understand) the fight against food borne illnesses. Comark is our go-to for temperature monitoring, and we offer a wide variety of other health supplies and food safety tools that will help you achieve the best safety standards in the industry. It may seem like a lot of extra work, but your Health Inspectors and patrons will greatly appreciate the care you take in providing deliciously safe food every day.