Food Temperature Probe

Trained chefs have long known when food has cooked sufficiently by using both visual and sensory checks, however, in a HACCP system everything must be proven and verified.  It is therefore important that checks are made with suitable instrumentation rather than relying on personal judgement.  Proven verified temperature checks can be taken with a well maintained and calibrated food temperature probe. 


Types of temperature probes

There are several different types of food probe thermometers, the most common categories are Dial Thermometers and Digital Thermometers.

Dial thermometer probes are commonly used to test meat. Be sure to check whether yours is oven safe, if it is then you can leave it in the meat while it cooks. It if isn’t then you should test the temperature after the meat is cooked.

Digital thermometers give a more accurate reading which is often easier to see. They can be used with lots of food types but they cannot go in the oven.


Maintaining a temperature probe

  • Most importantly, always follow manufacturer’s instructions for use
  • Do not leave in a fridge or freezer, on a hob, or oven as extreme temperatures will cause damage to the probe
  • Do not immerse in liquids
  • Do not drop, tap or hit it
  • Keep the probe in its case when not in use and replace the batteries regularly as it may give false readings as batteries diminish
  • Keep it clean and disinfected to avoid cross contamination. 


Checking accuracy of food temperature probes

You should test the temperature probe weekly to verify that it is working correctly, this should be recorded in your Pilla Management Diary or your own record sheets.. One or both of the following checks can be made to confirm accuracy. 

Place the tip of the probe in the middle of a vessel of iced water, the reading is allowed a deviation of 1 degree centigrade in either direction i.e. -1° or + 1°c. 

Similarly, the tip of the probe can be placed in the middle of a vessel of boiling water, a reading with a deviation of 1°either way is acceptable i.e. 99° to 101°c. 

The temperature must remain static for at least ten seconds before taking a reading. If the reading is higher or lower, then the test should be rechecked by the head chef and if still displaying same readings then the probe should be taken out of service and corrective actions taken. 

If the temperature reading exceeds the tolerance of one degree either way, then the head chef should recheck it to confirm or disagree with the original result. 

If the reading is confirmed to be beyond the tolerance levels this must be recorded in the corrective actions log, the probe should then be taken out of service and a replacement probe should be made available. 

The temperature probe should be returned to the manufacturer for either repair or replacement.