It's going to be a hot summer, when power outages occur in the middle of the night, how will you know if the food your serving has been and for how long were they in the danger zone.
Power outages can go from a simple nuisance to a money drain. Just think of what happens at your house or at your parent's house, when a power outage happens after a day of groceries. Food service operators have experienced this at one point or another and can share stories upon stories, the difference from the seasoned and well trained is what they do before, as part of their daily operations and after that minimizes their risk of exposure.
A prolonged power outage that occurs when the location is closed puts any size operation, seasoned or unseasoned operators at the same playing field if they aren't continuously monitoring temperature even during a power outage. Identifying which foods must be thrown vs. kept requires that you know the temperature the food has been kept and for what duration. If everyone was at home asleep, how do you know? It's easy to say "When In Doubt, Throw It Out!" many do this, and many are also saddled with realities of the constantly increasing costs, pressures to reduce pricing and realistically will apply the good old look, touch, sniff and estimate the outage and go from there. This can be a risky move that can payoff today but not tomorrow.
Staying informed and keeping food safe
Taking the guesswork out of what to keep and what to toss is as simple as using a Temperature Monitoring Solution that will allow you to monitor your refrigerated equipment even when the power is out. These Monitoring solutions consist of wireless sensors that are installed inside your refrigerators and freezers and keeps track of the temperature, sensor gateway that collects and transmits the sensor information to the cloud and software that allows you to access your data from any web-enabled device. These sensors have the ability to log data when connectivity is not available giving you the visibility you need to make informed decisions.
Using Example A, you can see what time the power went out by looking at when the sensor signal was lost and what time it was restored along with the temperature of the equipment during the outage. If you are using a standard sensor, these temperatures are stored and will be transmitted when power is restored. You can then use the information to determine how long certain foods were out of temperature range.
Using example B, sensors will continue to operate during the power outage using the back up battery and cellular connectivity and deliver alert notifications just as business as usual.
Alerts are sent when gateway power source changes from line power to battery, and battery to line power, an quick indicator of a potential power outage in your location.
Does your Kitchen Team know what to do and how long each food that normally is refrigerated can stay outside of 40°F, need One? Food Safety during a Power Outage Guide.