ComplianceMate Blog

Food Safety Equipment: The Surprise Hardware Issues Foodservice Establishments Face

Food safety technology is rapidly evolving. Without preventative maintenance procedures in place, restaurants and the like can run into unexpected problems and equipment failure in commercial kitchens.

Preventing Unexpected Issues with Food Safety Equipment

Many restaurants are installing food safety systems, including temperature sensors and electronic systems to track safe holding temperatures and critical checklists of cleaning and maintenance. The benefits of these systems are well known, and these systems not only reduce spoilage and inventory loss but help prevent and defend against food safety violations.

Having these systems in place does require preventative maintenance and changes to your standard operating procedures and maintenance programs. Focusing on clear preventative maintenance and equipment management procedures can help reduce equipment failures and emergency repair costs by as much as 50%.1

Common Hardware Issues with Electronic Food Safety Equipment

As you update your preventative maintenance procedures, put processes in place to prevent or reduce the impact of these common hardware issues with electronic food safety equipment.

Sensors Signals Not Received

Many temperature sensors can’t broadcast through the walls of the cold-holding unit, or they can only do so with structural changes (drilling). Remember to always ask about the frequency and transmit power of the wireless food safety equipment you choose and select the types of equipment designed for commercial fridges and freezers.

Battery Failure

Electronic sensors, tablets, and mobile equipment all need a reliable power source and battery recharging or replacement. As part of your preventative maintenance schedule, factor in battery charging and testing to prevent equipment failure that can impact food quality or safety.

Equipment Malfunctions or Stops Working

The thermostat piece of temperature-monitoring equipment can be surprisingly fragile and susceptible to failure, particularly in cheap devices. Full-on failure isn’t the only issue, however. If the thermostat works intermittently or is inaccurate, you can see temp variances that fall out of spec and which can impact food safety. Choosing commercial-grade monitoring equipment and pre-operation inspections can alert you to problems before quality is affected.

Losing Connection to the IoT

To work effectively, food safety equipment cannot operate in isolation. It must be connected to a network as part of the Internet of Things. Bluetooth or wired connections can fail, causing parts of your system or certain sensors to go dark. For real-time alerts and accurate reporting, every food sensor needs to stay connected with the rest of your quality assurance system.

The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance for Food Safety Systems

Purchasing a system designed for your restaurant or franchise will eliminate many of these common problems, and well-maintained equipment will perform as intended, streamlining your standard operating procedures. Establishing a clear maintenance and quality assurance system brings these benefits to your cafe, diner, or destination eatery:

  • Reduced utility costs. Well-maintained equipment operates more efficiently, saving money on energy costs.
  • Fewer incidents of down-time. Equipment failure can be reduced with regular preventative maintenance and timely repairs. Having a maintenance technician available for corrective maintenance gets your restaurant up and running faster.
  • Protecting consistency and quality assurance. Maintaining food quality and preventing equipment contamination is essential to your brand reputation.
  • Passing operational inspections. Your operations supervisor and management team has reliable access to complete maintenance records and checklist completion, to breeze through inspections and compliance audits in the food industry.
  • Promoting a safer work environment. Preventative maintenance protects your employees from spills and dangers in the workplace. Making proper maintenance a prerequisite program reduces the risk that employees might encounter unsafe conditions.

Updating Your  Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Include your electronic systems in your HACCP identification process and determine the types of preventative maintenance that are appropriate to your applications of technology. By documenting step-by-step instructions for your employees, you can protect food quality, prevent cross contamination, and receive accurate reporting and real-time alerts to problems with your digital food safety equipment.

Learn More About Reliable Food Safety Systems

ComplianceMate has the information and answers you need about putting a reliable and comprehensive electronic food safety system in place or repairing the system you have now. We offer a free demo and expert consultants to advise you. ComplianceMate has a cloud-based dashboard that allows you to view real-time data from one restaurant or across multiple locations to ensure that equipment and employees are performing as expected.

We service our systems and provide 24/7 support to our customers across the country. Contact us today to learn more about commercial-quality temperature-monitoring equipment and all the benefits it can bring to your business.