By Steven Burton
Temperature monitoring has always been a major food safety issue and regulators continue to turn up the heat, particularly with the new FSMA rules around transportation. Technology plays a critical role in prolonging shelf-life and addressing other quality issues, but it also helps prevent food safety failures caused by temperature mismanagement, one of the top reasons for foodborne illness. Improper storage and failure to reach and maintain minimum cooking temperatures are key examples of what can go wrong here.
Regulatory compliance and an effective HACCP plan mean food establishments must control the temperature of products and processes, particularly for “potentially hazardous foods” like meat, fish, dairy products, and some produce, among others. Temperature matters in different ways: heating kills pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and others; keeping temperatures low controls the growth of microbes such as Listeria monocytogenes; Clostridium perfringens or botulinum can be prevented during the cooling process for meat and seafoods.