It has been said that the board of health in many states are looking to make it mandatory to have food establishments record temperatures for their coolers and refrigerators that hold product to protect the public from food contamination. They would be able to have the establishment print out a record of past months to see if their refrigeration equipment maintained safe temperatures so as to keep food from growing bacteria on food.
A temperature data logger or recorder is a portable instrument and is capable of measuring and recording temperatures over a given period of time. The data can be viewed and studied after it has been documented.
Temperature data loggers have great benefits for many industries. Temperature sensitive products such as pharmaceuticals, foods, and some chemicals are often recorded during shipping operations. Exposure to temperatures outside a particular range can be critical and can down grade the product or shorten the shelf life. Some enforce contracts and make regulations to make temperature logging mandatory.
Many restaurants, hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, etc. are used to keep good records of temperatures for many reasons.
A variety of constructions is available and most have an internal thermocouple and can be connected to external sources. Digital measurements are periodically taken and stored. Data retrieval can be by cable, RFID, wireless systems, etc. They generally are small, portable battery powered, and equipped with a microprocessor, internal memory for data storage, and sensors. Some data recorders interface with personal computers or smart phones for analysis.
Temperature loggers can be very helpful in looking to see when the refrigeration equipment failed. Was it slowly rising in temperature over a given time or did it suddenly stop? In some applications such as lobster tanks etc., you can see if the compressor failed while it was running or on start up.
Another great benefit is after the refrigeration equipment has been monitoring by a logger for a bit, you can see if the temperature spikes at the same times in a 24 hour period. If so, then you might want your refrigeration company to check and make sure any defrost clocks are not set to go off too long that would jeopardize the shelf life of your food.
Some temperature loggers have alert devices that will send out push notifications via SMS text or through email to alert possible equipment failure. This feature can save hundreds of dollars from one episode of down time.