Catering equipment dealers may not get involved in the specification of temperature monitoring systems for various commercial kitchen appliances, but some in the industry are arguing that should no longer be the case.
“With temperature monitoring being an essential daily task for every catering and foodservice operation it is imperative that dealers consider how their recommendations and project specifications impact on the completion of this regulatory duty,” stated Rag Hulait, UK director of sales at wireless temperature monitoring specialist, Monika.
While Hulait feels that some distributors do get involved with specifying temperature monitoring equipment, there have been frequent occasions when “a Monika expert has visited a new kitchen after the installation phase has been completed, only to find that a temperature monitoring system has not been installed, rather it has only been flagged when the chef realises the need for a system”.
He added: “Prior to the project being handed over to the operator, the needs of the kitchen should be taken into account. These requirements include temperature monitoring systems to ensure compliance and assist business performance. When dealers do not specify the latest monitoring systems during the design stage, they are potentially missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves, offer their clients a better service and consequently increase their own margins on projects by providing a comprehensive kitchen design.”
Elsewhere, Electronic Temperature Instruments’ (ETI) UK sales manager, Tim Strutt, believes: “Within the foodservice sector there are several very important factors to consider when sourcing temperature monitoring equipment. The factors are denoted by the HACCP plan that has been put in place and will differ from operator to operator depending on what critical control points have been identified.
“The first factor would be temperature range; different sensors have different attributes and these can affect the ease of taking a reading and/or compromise the end result. The second would be accuracy; when considering the quality of the product being manufactured the accuracy of the probe can affect the product quality and the cost of the product dramatically. The third would be speed of response; generally the smaller the tip or sensor of the thermometer the faster the response but this can have a negative effect on the robustness of the thermometer. The fourth would be cost; different types of sensor have different costs and the format of the thermometer also has a bearing.”
On the topic of dealer specification, he commented: “Distributors sometimes get too focused on cost and reliability and forget to consider product quality and compliance. When visiting a distributor, ETI promotes a range of different thermometers that would suit a wide range of applications in various formats at different price points.”