Food Safety: Devices to Maintain Correct Temperatures

Posted by Joseph Rubino on June 30th, 2017

Keeping food at the right temperatures with refrigeration, cooking, and after cooking are all very serious situations. Bacteria would run rampant when the food is not maintained at the correct temperatures. This, in turn, can cause illnesses to customers even to the point of fatality. Because of this, it's crucial to abide by government guidelines of how to properly prepare the food, the length of time to keep cooked food, and the temperature range for cooking, and for the holding containers, such as with bins or catering tables.

Temperature Probes/Sensors
Having said this, temperature sensors, aka temperature probes, are required in various kitchens as necessary Commercial Kitchen Equipment. Temperature probes are stainless steel general-purpose temperature sensors used for salt solutions, organic liquids, bases, and acids. There are different types of temperature probes, such as cooler thermometers, and fryer thermometers, that are also intertwined in most commercial kitchen equipment.

One of the temperature sensors is known as thermocouples, which is an electrical object with two opposite conductors that form electrical junctions at various temperatures. Resistance thermometers, aka resistance temperature detectors (RTDs), are sensors that measure temperature. They normally consist of fine wire that is wrapped around a glass of ceramic core. They are slowly replacing thermocouples in industrial-sized capacities below 600 degrees Celsius due to their higher repeatability and accuracy.

RTD sensors
The RTDs' wire is made of nickel, platinum, or copper. Also, protective probes are often around this wire due to their fragility.

These RTD sensors come in five main categories, including carbon resistor, strain-free, thin-film, wire-wound, and coiled. The carbon resistor types are widely used and very affordable, and they are very reliable for extremely low temps. The strain-free types utilize a wire coil with barely a sealed housing with the inert gas. Their temperature range can go up to 961.78 °C. The thin-film types possess a sensing element formed by the installation of a really thin resistive material layer, often platinum, on the plating. This film is coated with glass or an epoxy that protects the inserted film. They work in temperatures ranging from 300 °C (572 °F) to 600 °C (1,112 °F), depending on the makeup. With the wire-wound types, the ability of greater accuracy is there for wide temperature ranges. The coil diameter offers a compromising effect between the allowance of the wire expansion and the mechanical stability to reduce the strain and consequential drifting. And lastly, the coil element types have replaced wire-wound types largely within the industry. Their design consists of a wire coil with the ability to expand freely over temperatures. With this strain free design, the sensing wire can expand and contract freely.

To properly maintain RTDs, calibration is required sometimes for temperatures other than 0 °C and 100 °C. Even though RTDs are linear in operation, accuracy must be proven about the temperatures, which will be utilized.

The two common calibration techniques are the comparison and the fixed-point method. National metrology laboratories for the highest accuracy calibrations utilize the fixed-point calibration. With this calibration method, freezing point, triple point, or melting points of pure substances, such as zinc, water, argon, and tin, are used to generate a repeatable and known temperature. And as a result, extremely accurate calibrations (within ±0.001 °C) are provided. The ice bath is a common type of fixed-point calibration method used in industrial graded probes. Also, the thermometers that are calibrated are in comparison to calibrated thermometers by a bath with temperatures that are uniformly stable. With these comparisons, the temperature can be between -100 °C and 500 °C (-148 °F to 932 °F), unlike the fixed-point method.

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Joseph Rubino

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Joseph Rubino
Joined: June 8th, 2017
Articles Posted: 16

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