Learn how Therma° can help you comply with Federal Health and Safety (FSMA) guidelines.
Every year in the US, 48 million people contract foodborne illness. Of those 48 million, 126,000 of them require hospitalization and 3,000 die. These are staggering numbers for a country with the largest cold storage capacity per capita worldwide. Unfortunately, these severe incidents of food-borne illness are largely preventable as 85% of food spoilage is due to time and temperature.
To combat the dangers of foodborne illness on the American public, Congress passed the Food Standards Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2010. This law created uniform food safety standards for food manufacturers nationwide. Congress passed the law intending to shift the strategy from responding to contamination events to preventing them.
This change in tactics came with a new requirement: “adequate temperature controls” in food manufacturing facilities. This wording is obtuse and has little clarity for those who need to comply with it. Read on to learn more about employing temperature controls in your facility and how to better comply with this law.
Before the passing of the FSMA, the US experienced several high-profile food contamination scares. From spinach to fast food, mass contamination events were commonplace in the late aughts. As the issue rose in prominence, the government looked into the food storage practices around the industry and released an eye-opening report. What the public saw was not pretty. It was clear that regulations needed to be overhauled, especially considering it was over a decade since the last time they had done so.
In 2011, with the passing of the FSMA, Congress handed broad authority to the FDA to enforce the new protocols. Among the stipulations was the requirement for adequate temperature controls. In essence, this statement mandates any number of temperature tracking devices, including thermometers, temperature data recorders, or temperature sensors.
You may be surprised to see thermometers listed as a method of adequate temperature control. Thermometers, after all, are one of the oldest methods of monitoring temperature. What sets these regulations apart from previous incarnations is the necessity of a paper trail. Operations are now required to submit certifiable records to prove that temperature abuse has not occurred in the storage or shipping of food products.
To facilitate this requirement, the FDA encouraged the use of temperature recording devices in the food manufacturing industry for the following reasons:
Therefore, while thermometers are still permissible under the law, the additional leg work, such as temperature checks and pen and paper recording, may not be worth the time. Temperature monitoring devices automate the process, making it easier for operators and inspectors alike.
The guidance around temperature monitoring devices is open-ended, but there are several qualities you should look out for when considering which system is suitable for you.
If you’re thinking about employing a temperature monitoring device in your food processing facility, consider Therma°. Therma° is a wireless temperature monitoring and analytics platform built with the food industry in mind. Our sensors rely on LoRaWAN, making them functional in any environment, even the warehouses utilized in food processing operations. Our system is easy to install and provides up to the second alerting and verifiable reports to protect your inventory and bottom line.
The best part? Therma° only costs $10 per sensor per month, bringing maximum scalability to your business. Click below to buy now and save $15,000 per year.