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How Data Loggers Can Be Used to Monitor Critical Control Points in The Food Production Process

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c\temp-LCD temperature data logger from Marathon Products.Food chain processes are as fragile as the foods themselves and usually come with costly setbacks. To be safe, stakeholders must ensure consistent environmental temperature balance at every stage. Here is how data loggers can monitor critical control points in food production.

Key Takeaways:

  • The food chain has four pillars: production, processing, distribution, and consumption.
  • Temperature, humidity, and vibration data can preserve food integrity and consumer safety at every step.
  • Quality control and disease prevention in the earlier stages enable consumer safety.
  • Essential food for raising healthy livestock must be preserved before entering the food chain to ensure continuing dairy operations.

The food industry loses about 14% of products between the harvesting and retail stages. Traditionally, some businesses could recover from those losses. But with the cost of production at an all-time high, coupled with the ever-looming threat of food shortages, a more effective way to monitor production processes sustainably is crucial. 

Monitoring food temperatures to ensure they’re always at the recommended levels is one of the most effective methods of avoiding food waste. Businesses must apply temperature monitoring technologies like data loggers at every stage of the food chain, including production, processing, distribution, and consumption. 

This article serves as a guide that explains how data loggers can be used to monitor critical control points in food production.

The roles of data loggers in monitoring critical food production process

Every process significantly affects the food quality, from how it is harvested, processed, and stored. Any mishap along the supply chain could contaminate the food leading to health hazards and monumental losses for the business. 

One of the greatest dangers to food is bacteria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1 in 10 people fall ill from consuming contaminated food. Therefore, the most effective way to ensure safe consumption is to prevent harmful food bacteria. 

While this might have seemed unachievable a few decades ago, advancements in food temperature monitoring technologies have made it easier. Thanks to devices like data loggers that can effectively monitor and regulate food temperatures at every point in the food chain process. 

4 pillars of food production

Data loggers should be applied at these four critical points of food production to ensure safety: 

1. Production

Food production generally entails the growing, harvesting, and storing of food products. Since the agricultural revolution, farmers have perfected the first two parts of the processes. Still, storage is the most significant problem yet to be addressed thoroughly, especially involving delicate produce like fruits, vegetables, and meat for extended periods. 

The good news is that Temperature Data Loggers from Marathon Products can effectively monitor the storage area temperature. This is especially vital for fresh produce, which can spoil quickly if not stored at the right temperature. By monitoring temperature conditions, food producers can take preventive measures to avert spoilage in their storage facilities, ensuring food safety.

2. Processing

About 73% of food consumed in the U.S. goes through extensive processing. These methods typically aim to transform raw materials from farms into safe, palatable food with longer shelf lives. 

Food processing facilities typically have stringent quality control measures to ensure that the final products are safe, free from contamination, and meet the desired quality standards. Since most foods are susceptible to temperature damage, data loggers can help monitor temperature conditions, ensuring the food is processed safely and eliminating potential contaminants.

3. Distribution

After harvesting, processing, and value addition, food has to be transported to various retail stores and finally to the table. While this seems straightforward, it’s one of the most crucial points in the food chain where most losses occur. 

Transporting perishable foods like vegetables, dairy products, and meat involves more than getting them to their destination in time. It also ensures they’re in perfect condition, bringing about the need to monitor temperatures better and avoid excursions that would otherwise spoil the products. 

Food distributors can use data loggers to monitor temperature conditions and ensure food is transported and stored at appropriate temperature ranges. Data loggers like the MaxiLog-PDF GEN2  take this a step further by providing data for analytics. This way, food distributors can optimize their transportation practices based on previous data, further streamlining the process. 

4. Consumption

Restaurants waste about 4% to 10% of their inventory, and most of the time, this is attributed to poor storage conditions, significantly reducing their products’ shelf life. Part of the problem is that most foods require specific storage temperatures to maintain freshness. For instance, fruits and vegetables should be stored at temps between 32°F to 55°F, while fresh meats and seafood must be kept below 39°F.

Most establishments achieve these temperature ranges by keeping their food stored separately. But, by doing that, they limit their ability to keep track of multiple refrigeration systems simultaneously. 

Advanced systems like the c\temp-LCD NFC Enabled Data Logger have a visual alarm that lets you know when temperatures in a particular refrigeration unit fall below or exceed set temperature ranges. This way, you can effectively monitor and regulate the temperature of stored foods in multiple units seamlessly.

With this understanding of how to implement data loggers across the four pillars of food production, the next step is to acquire high-quality and reliable data loggers.

Prevent food wastage with Marathon Products

Monitoring and regulating food temperatures is the most effective way to prevent food wastage throughout the supply chain. Plus, you effectively limit the growth of food bacteria, preventing serious health issues for consumers. 

Data loggers provide alerts and temperature data for analytics. Ultimately, this helps reduce food waste and enables you to develop more effective food production, distribution, and storage practices.

Marathon Products manufactures and distributes precision environmental monitoring devices like data loggers and other cold chain monitoring devices. All our products are accurately calibrated to give you the best results. Contact us today for further questions on how we can help you optimize your food chain for high-quality, safer produce. 

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