Every day it seems like there’s a new article published on some sort of food safety disaster. An outbreak at major restaurant chain. A problem with supermarket fruits and veggies. Even big name companies sometimes struggle with these issues. We might typically think of food borne illness as a problem in a kitchen or a store room, but the truth is, food safety can be compromised at any point along the supply chain. That’s why it’s so important to be monitoring food product storage temperatures, even while it’s being transported.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA)recently released (March 2016) its Final Rule for Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food (part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)).Large firms are required to be in compliance within 12 months.  The rule includes new safety regulations for food that’s in transit. Some of the biggest takeaways were on temperature:

  • …And shippers of food that require temperature control for safety must also develop and implement written procedures to ensure that food is transported under adequate temperature control.
  • If a covered person or company at any point in the transportation chain becomes aware of a possible failure of temperature control or any other condition that may render a food unsafe, that food must not be sold or distributed until a determination of safety is made.

Essentially, the FDA is making temperature monitoring mandatory for perishable food handlers. Not only do they need to be monitoring temperatures, they also need to have a written plan in place on exactly how they will do so.

 As is typical when enforcement of regulations is initiated, the primary perspective on the part of inspectors is “If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen.” As such, it is important that:

  • Shippers, carriers, and Receivers have written plans which include specifics of in-transit temperature monitoring programs. Such programs should include specific operational procedures, instructions for how documentation will be completed, and an easily accessible archive of in-transit temperatures records for review in the case of regulatory audit.
  • A written procedure be created which includes: which criteria will be used to determine if a food product has become “unsafe” due to insufficient temperature control and the proper disposition of those food products.

Cargo Data Corporation’s Lightning temperature monitoring system is a solution specifically designed to satisfy the new regulations perfectly. It’s also much easier to use than most competing temperature monitoring systems, and automatically archives all collected temperature data and arrival quality documentation to the Cloud.

The Lightning system pioneers integrated use of both conventional style electronic temperature data loggers AND “real-time” instruments into a single program for all perishable food products.

Both Lightning NFC and Lightning Real Time instruments include NFC technology which allows the Receiver to immediately view vital in-transit temperature data immediately upon arrival.  There is no need to waste time and money by going to the Receiving office to review temperature data on a computer.  There is no need to email or fax temperature charts.  The Lighting system does not require use of a desktop computer, printer, or any proprietary equipment.

The Receiver/Inspector only needs to hold the Lightning temperature recorder back-to-back with an Android NFC-enabled smart device, and the Lightning App will display the full temperature chart for the monitored period. The Receiver/Inspector can also use the App to add key data points like PO number, pulp temperature, and arrival quality. Product photos can also be added to the temperature record.

Once the Receiver/Inspector reviews the temperature chart, temperature data and images will be automatically uploaded to the Cargo Data secure Cloud server. This means you can access the data online, which makes it very simple to retrieve temperature data for QA or regulatory review.

To learn more about implementing the Lightning system, contact the experts at Cargo Data Corporation at 800-338-8134 or email: information@cargodatacorp.com . We are ready and able to help you design a program that makes FSMA temperature monitoring compliance easy!