MEASUREMENT OF PRODUCT TEMPERATURE
During an inspection, the veterinary food inspection specialist determines the
temperatures of frozen or chilled products and enters the information on the appropriate
form. The temperature inside a shipping container may be checked or the internal
temperature of the product itself. Bimetallic thermometers are issued for this purpose,
which must be checked for accuracy and calibrated from time to time.
THE BIMETALLIC THERMOMETER (BABY DIAL THERMOMETER)
The bimetallic thermometer may also be called a baby dial thermometer or a direct
reading thermometer. A bimetallic thermometer is used to determine temperatures of
frozen or chilled food products. These thermometers have a stem that is a sensing
device. It is about 6 inches long and can be inserted into a product. The end of the
thermometer has a dial, which allows the inspector to read the temperature. It can
measure a temperature from -40F. to 160F. A small hexagon nut below the dial allows
the thermometer to be calibrated. For taking temperatures of chilled products (not frozen
products), thermometers with a scale of 0F to 220F may be used. Each thermometer
has a case with a pocket clip. Normally, three to five properly calibrated bimetallic
thermometers are available for use. Only these thermometers may be used to determine
temperature nonconformance. See figure 4-1.
CARE OF THE THERMOMETER
a. The bimetallic thermometer requires careful handling to remain accurate. It
Kept in its case when not in use.
Cleaned after each use.
Used only to take temperatures, never as a stirring rod or any other tool.
(4) Cooled down to approximately the same temperature as the product
before it is used on the product.
b. The bimetallic thermometer should not be:
Exposed to temperatures beyond its calibrated range.
(2) Forced into a frozen or hard-to-penetrate item. A boring or piercing tool
should be used to make a hole for insertion of the thermometer.