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An Expert Guide to Foodborne Illnesses and Why Food Temperature Monitoring Is Important

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A Marathon Products’ EDL-4S 4-channel temperature monitor and recorder.If you have ever experienced the discomfort of food poisoning, you know well that food safety is paramount. Here is how the food service industry can reduce the risks of foodborne illness and why food temperature monitoring is essential.

Key Takeaways

  • Temperature monitoring is essential in the food industry, from production to consumption
  • Bacteria and germs that cause foodborne illness may become active when food is stored at the wrong temperature
  • Investing in the correct temperature monitoring tools like data loggers can help

Cases of foodborne illness have been on the rise, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of six people in America gets sick from contaminated food, with around 3000 deaths reported annually. The stakes are high, with even strict requirements for food service establishments to monitor food temperature to eliminate these risks.

Food temperature monitoring is an important process that ensures that the foodborne illness-causing bacteria and germs do not become active. So, what is a foodborne illness, what are its risks, and how can this be avoided? 

Here is everything you need to know about foodborne illnesses and why food temperature monitoring is essential.

What is a foodborne illness, and how is it caused?

Foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning, refers to health complications caused by consuming contaminated food or beverages. The germs and bacteria causing the contamination often thrive when food is not stored at the correct temperature, making temperature monitoring crucial for preventing contamination.

While temperature variance is often the leading cause of food contamination, there are also some other issues that may be involved. So, here are some of the common causes of foodborne illness in addition to a temperature excursion. 

  • Improper handling: If food is mishandled, it can become contaminated. This can happen anywhere and at any time, from the point of production to the consumption stage. 
  • Poor sanitation: Poor sanitation can lead to food contamination, which can happen if food is not stored or prepared in a clean environment or if equipment and utensils are not properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Cross-contamination: This potential for foodborne illness occurs when bacteria and germs from one food product contaminate others. 
  • Improper storage: Improper storage can lead to the growth of bacteria and germs, making food unsafe for consumption.

Health risks associated with foodborne illness

The potential health risks associated with foodborne illness can range from mild to severe and sometimes even lead to death. Symptoms of foodborne illness include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, which can last a few days to several weeks. It can also lead to long-term health problems like kidney failure, brain damage, and arthritis.

Foodborne illness can sometimes lead to more severe health problems such as hemolytic uremic syndrome, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and Reiter’s syndrome. Infants, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems are particularly susceptible to these risks.

Given the health risks associated with foodborne illness, it’s vital to invest in proper temperature monitoring tools. For instance, by investing in data loggers, food can be stored and transported at the correct temperature, preventing the spread of foodborne illness. 

The importance of food temperature monitoring

Temperature monitoring is essential at various stages of the food supply chain. It is crucial to ensure that food is stored, transported, and prepared at the appropriate temperature to prevent the growth of food bacteria and germs.

Temperature monitoring is key to maintaining quality and safety right from the production stage. For example, refrigerated items should get stored at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent bacteria growth, while you should store frozen items at or below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. That will prevent any food spoilage during the process of production.

During transportation, temperature monitoring is also crucial. Food products should be transported at appropriate temperatures to prevent the growth of bacteria and germs. That can include refrigerated vehicles or temperature-controlled packaging to maintain this standard.

During food preparation, temperature monitoring is essential to ensure that food temperature is maintained at the required range—ensuring safety for the consumers.

Temperature monitoring tools key to minimizing risks of foodborne illness

Temperature monitoring is critical to minimizing the risks of foodborne illness. And the best place to start your journey into this equipment is with Marathon Products. 

Renowned as the leading precision environmental service provider, Marathon Products offers a wide range of tools, including temperature data loggers and vibration devices like EDL-4S, featuring alarms instrumental to this quest. 

Data loggers measure and record temperature and humidity, providing accurate and reliable information during food transport or storage. They can remotely monitor the temperature, offering alerts whenever there is temperature excursion. They are easy to use and can be used in various locations.

For example, our 2c\temp-Gen2 multi-use data logger is a cost-effective solution for temperature monitoring for the transportation and storage of fruits and vegetables. It has alarm limits that will alert you should the temperature exceed the set level. 

The alarms can be connected to data loggers, refrigeration units, or other temperature monitoring devices, providing a visual or audible alert when temperature variations occur.

Avoid the risks of foodborne illness with Marathon Products

With the increasing cases and concern of foodborne illness, it is now more critical than ever for the food service stakeholders to ensure safety and quality. A perfect starting point is to invest in the proper food temperature monitoring tools, which are crucial to avoiding foodborne illness and associated risks. 

Marathon Products is a leading precision environmental monitoring service provider offering quality and customized temperature monitoring solutions at reasonable costs. From data loggers and wireless temperature sensors to vibration devices, we are a one-stop shop for the best, most reliable temperature monitoring products. Our accurate and reliable solutions ensure food is safe for consumption, eliminating the dreaded foodborne illness. 

Please visit our website to learn more about our products and services. Don’t ship without us! 

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