September is National Food Safety Month and we’re kicking it off by focusing on temperature control. When you think of temperature control for your foodservice or food retail operation, a few products probably come to mind, like a thermometer.
Whether it’s a meat thermometer or a dishwasher thermometer, it needs to be calibrated to measure within 2 degrees F of the actual temperature to be considered accurate by HACCP standards.
There are two easy ways to calibrate your thermometer: the ice water method or the boiling point method.
Ice Water Calibration
- Fill a clear container with crushed ice and distilled water.
- Hold the thermometer probe in the container for one minute without it coming in contact with the container.
- The thermometer should read between 30 and 34 degrees F.
- If the thermometer does not read between 30 and 40 degrees F, then adjust it to 32 degrees.
Boiling Point Calibration
- Fill a clear container with distilled water and bring to rolling boil.
- Place thermometer probe into boiling water for one minute without it coming in contact with the container.
- The thermometer should read between 210 and 214 degrees F.
- If the thermometer does not read between 210 and 214 degrees F, then adjust it to 212 degrees.
If you have a thermometer that is consistently inaccurate (reads outside of +/- 2 degrees F of the actual temperature), you should replace it immediately.
For a demonstration, watch the video below