Food Safety Magazine

Signature Series | November 12, 2013

Smart Temperature Alarming for Fresh Seafood

By CAS DataLoggers, Inc.

Smart Temperature Alarming for Fresh Seafood

CAS DataLoggers supplies a temperature alarm solution for a fish markets selling fresh catches of fish and shellfish, as well as sashimi and sushi rolled onsite. Strict temperature control is the most effective way to slow bacterial growth and maintain seafood quality. All the fresh seafood in each display case must be routinely temperature-checked throughout the day to ensure it’s safe to sell. Every morning, the vendor thaws out the fish and puts it out on thick ice in covered display cases. For the freshest taste and to prevent health risks, the unpackaged fish must be continually kept at 29–32 °F. Higher temperatures cause rapid bacteria growth, which is the main case of spoilage, so an increase of less than 10 °F can make the fish spoil twice as fast and drastically shorten its shelf life. Workers used to rely on small glass thermometers but had to move closer and squint to check the numbers. Owners want a quick and easy way to do a temperature check for all the cases and need alarm functionality, given that there were only a few people manning the counter.

CAS DataLoggers provides I-Plug Plus USB Temperature Data Loggers as an effective standalone solution. Each portable data logger continually records the food’s temperature via internal sensor at a wide range of -22 °F to 158 °F (-30 °C to +70 °C). Workers start each logger with the press of a button, while the bright LEDs show temperature status at a glance. The temperature recorders have a sensor response time of 90 seconds, faster than many competing products. Unlike other single-use dataloggers, the I-Plugs are also equipped with a smart stop button that sets them to bookmark readings but keeps them recording until stopped or until the memory is full.

It’s easy to sterilize the included pouches and place the temperature loggers in the display cases to get accurate readings. The dataloggers can operate without any issues at low temperatures, giving workers an easy way to conduct seafood inspections on the fly. The data loggers show a bright red alarm light when the selectable temperature range goes too high over a certain period of time, and other status lights show whenever product temperatures are OK or under.

Each I-Plug Plus logger has a 5,000 sample memory and a battery life lasting a year, so they’re set to record for long periods. Sampling rate is user-selectable—here they’re set to take a reading every 5 minutes. This way the vendor can instantly recognize and throw out any product that has already started to go bad before it gets that sour ‘fishy’ smell that turns buyers away.

The data loggers are recyclable with a 1-year warranty and also include free software as an online download. Additionally, an optional online Calibration Certificate is available that’s especially convenient for food industry applications.

I-Plug Plus loggers were the easiest choice for this small business. The easy-to-spot LEDs gives workers a quick way to check the product in the middle of work, and the loggers can also be used to check seafood deliveries and reject any food at temperatures over 35°F. This way the vendor knows the food temperature upon receipt so he knows it has a good shelf life.

For more information on our portable I-Plug-Plus USB Temperature Data Loggers, additional low-cost solutions for temperature monitoring or to find the ideal solution for your application-specific needs, contact us at (800) 956-4437 or visit the website at www.DataLoggerInc.com.