Food Temperature Safety
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Storing Foods in Hospitals

hospital food temperature safety

The diners who consume the food served in hospitals are typically in a fragile state of health and more susceptible to food-borne pathogens such as salmonella. Therefore hospitals need to be extra vigilant when it comes to food temperature safety monitoring of the PHF’s (potentially hazardous foods) in their fridges and freezers.

Australian government authorities warn that salmonella outbreaks are on the increase and 2016 was the worst year on record in recent history for food poisoning due to salmonella.

It is suspected that climate change may be a contributing factor and that the bugs are more active due to a slight increase in average ambient temperature.

The need to carefully and safely manage the storage temperature history of all potentially hazardous foods becomes even more critical as a result.

Foods above 5oC and below 60oC are in the temperature danger zone and there are HACCP rules that dictate how long a food can be outside of the required storage temperature before it has to be discarded. These rules are based upon evidence of the speed with which salmonella and other pathogens in the temperature danger zone can multiply to dangerous levels.

The Hawk-Eye 800 provides a cost effective, reliable, professional and accurate means of continuously monitoring the temperature of the cool-rooms, fridges and freezers in the hospitals ensuring that:

  • The food in them is maintained at the appropriate safe temperature to ensure bug growth is stopped or reduced to an acceptably low rate.
  • If the storage temperature rises above the trip point for any reason such as a refrigeration equipment failure or power outage, then intelligent temperature alarm messages are generated by the Hawk-Eye 800 and sent by email and SMS to those that need to know, giving maximum time for repairs to be effected.
  • the temperature history of the food is recorded second by second so its disposition can be accurately determined by following government standard rulings on how long it can be in the temperature danger zone before it needs to be discarded.

This last point highlights the difference between the professional Hawk-Eye 800 Temperature Safety System and simple back to base alarms which do not provide any means of determining the temperature history of the foods once they are in the danger zone.

Knowledge of the food temperature history is critical and not having this digital record as evidence can have significant financial implications for the hospital in the event of litigation.

Equally this digital evidence allows the hospital to justify not discarding foods which have not fallen outside of the HACCP time rules for foods in the temperature danger zone.