Food plays a major role in the success of almost any hospitality business and with that success comes the legal duty to carefully control the way food is produced, stored and handled.
Temperature control is a critical measurement for ensuring the safety and quality of food. If temperatures are not monitored at vital stages (storage, cooking and reheating) then the safety and quality of food becomes questionable and there could be difficulty in showing compliance with the law.
By and large the hospitality industry is aware of the importance of monitoring temperature control and regular use of probe thermometers and the like is becoming the norm. Heavy use and reliance on probe thermometer requires regular calibration to ensure accuracy.
Thermometer and temperature should be calibrated weekly and results recorded with all new equipment being checked for accuracy before being put into service.
For low temperature checks, calibration using the ice and water method is most advisable. To do this, plunge the metal rod part of the probe thermometer into a bowl of ice and water. Withdraw after a few minutes and the temperature reading should be 0ÞC. As a matter of accuracy, the temperature range should be from -1 degrees C to +1 degrees C.
To calibrate high temperatures use boiling water. Again, put the metal rod into it for a few minutes. The probe thermometer should be at 100 degrees C under ideal conditions. For accuracy, the range should be from +99 degrees C to +101 degrees C. If the probe does not achieve these two high and low optimum temperatures check the battery and repeat the process. If the correct reading is still not obtained send for repair or buy replacement.
Finally, the probe thermometer should be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected after each use to maintain good hygiene and to reduce the risk of bacterial cross contamination.