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June 13, 2017

Key Monitoring Points in Your Restaurant: An Overview

Written by SmartSense | Food Safety

Food preparation, holding, serving, and storing is a complex chain of interdependent touchpoints. Perhaps no product other than food undergoes such rapid and drastic temperature changes, from freezing in storage to piping hot in the oven, often in a matter of minutes.

The Restaurant Food Chain

At each touch point of the restaurant food chain, staff and managers must be extra careful about ensuring everything is being properly stored. At each stage, multiple, thorough checks need to be done.

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Refrigerators & Freezers: Temperatures can rise quickly out of safe range depending on how often the door is opened, the kinds and amounts of foods stored, as well as their temperature when first put in the unit. Upon receiving shipments, the temperature of perishable food should be checked with a probe prior to being placed in storage. The environment of the walk-in should be continuously monitored to ensure 24/7 protection of keeping food out of the danger zone.

CO2 Tanks: Having visibility into the level, capacity, and flow output of your tanks is important. For example, when a tank is hooked up to a soda machine, it’s hard to visually see how much gas is left in the tank. This leaves you unsure of when you will run out, leading to the potential of waiting too long.

Food Prep: Makelines and lowboys are perhaps the trickiest touch points, since different areas must maintain different temperatures, depending on the types of food. Here, the environment temperature needs to be monitored as well as the internal temperature of many ingredients using a probe.

Ambient Conditions: Keeping the ambient temperature of your restaurant within a safe range can help ensure that food is safe while sitting out on a counter, display case, or waiting to be served.

Cold Chain: The cold chain is so much more than ensuring safe temperatures during transport. More and more, restaurants are increasing revenues through food trucks, off-site catering, and most of all, home delivery. Ensuring that cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot en route to its destination cannot be overlooked.

Proactive Food Safety

Given the complexities of restaurant monitoring points, it’s critical that you implement a food safety program across all touchpoints in your operation. These programs are aimed at improving quality standards and control, reducing losses from spoilage, and avoiding negative publicity resulting from a food safety incident. 

Proactive practices include:

  • Training employees to monitor food temperatures at each touchpoint
  • Ensuring equipment is working as intended using a master inspection schedule
  • Replacing or repairing equipment if found to be defective
  • Calibrating thermometers to make sure readings are accurate to +/-1°


Although restaurants have the option of using manual monitoring at these touchpoints, at best it provides only point-in-time snapshots. Automated devices are a better option, providing ongoing, real-time monitoring, and alerts when your equipment is out of range.

Make Your Restaurant Food Chain as Foolproof as Possible

TempAlert’s wireless sensors enable you to gain real-time insights into all your locations. With our remote monitoring system, you gain actionable insight to ensure compliance, quality control, and risk management within your restaurant. 

Topics: Food Safety

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