By Liza Zagrabchuk
Emerson Cargo & Temperature Monitoring Solutions Middle East & Africa
Digital technologies, data mining and analytics tools are dominating the modern economy, transforming nearly every aspect of how we operate. Businesses are beginning to realise the power of data and how it can be used to improve the customer experience, grow market share and improve operational performance — all culminating in what’s commonly being referred to as the digital transformation.
This transformation has the potential to bring significant benefits in the areas of food safety.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
According to World Health Organization estimates, 1 out of every 10 people (600 million) get sick and 420,000 per year globally die from eating contaminated food each year. Although this could potentially happen to anyone, those who are especially vulnerable include children aged five and under, adults 65 and older, those with compromised immune systems, and pregnant women.
However, the potential costs of food-borne illness outbreaks go far beyond their tolls on human health. Researchers have found that restaurants have incurred costs of up to $2.5 million for a single outbreak of food-borne illness. This may be in addition to brand reputation impact, which is more difficult to calculate. Studies have shown that 44 per cent of consumers will avoid a brand for a few months after an outbreak, while 20 per cent have reported in surveys that they never intend to make a return visit or purchase anything from that brand again.
There are many areas along the processing chain where food may be compromised. Storing, receiving and holding food-related items at a temperature that prohibits bacterial growth are required parts of your company’s food safety plan, making integrated, wireless environmental monitoring systems a must-have. Processing facilities that invest in integrated, wireless temperature monitoring systems offer numerous benefits:
• Eliminating manual labour
• Streamlining the collection of environmental data
• Creating custom reporting
• Complying with new FSMA laws and FDA rulings
Emerson’s Remote Temperature Sensing System (RTS) from Cooper-Atkins is a facility-wide solution that can monitor multiple points in multiple locations — all from one software platform, sending out alerts when pre-set limits are exceeded, saving time and labour while protecting your inventory and, more importantly, brand integrity.
Creating daily temperature logs is an important, but labour-intensive process. Bluetooth-enabled thermometers effectively register internal, surface, and air temperatures – hot or cold – and transmit that data to any approved food safety software app. This helps eliminate the old manual process of taking and recording temperatures in a hand-written log, freeing up employees to focus on customer service and other important tasks.
Bluetooth-enabled thermometers, like Emerson’s Lumity Multi-function Thermometer, also help keep your food-safety compliance records up to date. They capture who is taking the temperature, apply a date/time stamp, and assign a clear pass/fail to every product reading, helping enable timely, corrective action. Your data is now visible, providing you with insights for continuous improvements.
COOKING OIL TESTERS GO DIGITAL
Fried foods such as chicken nuggets, French fries and doughnuts taste good and are popular all over the world. To help ensure that these favourites always taste good, the quality of cooking oil should be regularly tested. Instead of old chemical tests, it can now be tested safely and easily using a Bluetooth-enabled tester with a probe, like Emerson’s Lumity Cooking Oil Tester, which quickly detects the aging of frying oil.
The TPM value (Total Polar Materials) reflects the deterioration of edible oil due to high temperatures during the frying process. This value can be measured and stored to help ensure superior oil and tasty products.
AN INVESTMENT IN PROTECTION
When you look at the human cost of food poisoning outbreaks, as well as the millions of dollars in recall costs and destroyed reputations, digital solutions like facility-wide environmental monitoring, digital temperature monitoring and digital cooking oil testers become a highly cost-effective investment. With food safety digital solutions, you can not only prevent food-borne outbreaks, but also help verify compliance and protect your brand.