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Find the cause

Since the time and date are recorded it is possible to tell when temperatures occurred. From this it may be possible to determine who was in possession of the item, or who was working at the time. This information can then be used to help place the responsibility on the correct party or fix the problem. Ultimately it can help stop the problem occurring again.

An exporter discovered that his goods had been left on a tarmac for a number of hours in a tropical country. The temperature logger clearly indicated when it occurred and for how long. In this case it was possible to place the liability but it also meant that the problem could be addressed to stop it happening again.

Not all cases are this easy. With no supporting proof, however, it is nearly impossible to force a company to accept responsibility for spoilt items and fix the problem.

Save money

The shelf life of many items is temperature dependent. Maximise shelf life by ensuring items are always at the right temperature. One catering company profiled a fridge and discovered a temperature variation of a couple of degrees from top to bottom and front to back. This information then allowed them to change the location of items to maximise shelf life.

Improve your reputation

People will only talk about you if you provide a bad product or an exceptionally good one. Temperature loggers will help in stopping the bad food from reaching the customer. It is then up to you to make the exceptionally good product.

A catering firm could place a temperature logger with items being sent out of the kitchen. The staff can test the item temperature before it is served. The information could also be stored in case there were any complaints.

But is it all good news?

Unfortunately not. Temperature loggers can introduce problems. Loggers typically provide information after the event. It is no good knowing that a fridge was too hot a week ago when food has already been sold. In many cases a thermometer or logger with temperature display should be used so that the staff can check the temperature at any stage.

The other problem is that the staff may become complacent and rely upon the loggers to automatically do their job. Staff should always feel responsible for maintaining the quality of goods. The loggers are there to provide proof that existing systems are working or to measure temperature when no staff are present.