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In-house calibration of scales and thermometers

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 02:23 PM

I can't find any requirement for annual calibration. Everyone is saying I have to get a third party to calibrate my scales. Has anyone gotten a non-conformance for only doing monthly, in-house calibrations? 

The same question goes for thermometers.


Also, has anyone heard of a way that one can BECOME a third party certifier for thermometer and scale calibration?

Thanks a bunch. We are a super small company. I want to do everything right but the annual cost of paying a 3rd party for calibration is excessive. We have a LOT of scales and thermometers. 


    Food Safety Consultant, Production Supervisor

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Posted 12 April 2018 - 02:51 PM

Your calibration just needs to be NIST traceble. So if you have calibrated weights and you use them to do the manufacturers recommended calibration on  the scale, you still need to send the weights out at some interval to get them re-calibrated (I have my interval set at 3 years or whenever a weight may be corroded or damaged). But no, there is no requirement to have scales professionally serviced provided they read your calibrated weights accurately.


Same thing with thermometers, if you have thermometers that can be calibrated against a NIST traceble reference in house, you can just replace that NIST one when the certificate expires rather than all of your thermometers.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 02:24 AM

Hello FlotoYo,


Please refer to this BRC clause about calibration.



Calibration and control of measuring and monitoring devices

Statement        of Intent

The site shall be able to demonstrate that measuring equipment is sufficiently accurate and reliable to provide confidence in measurement results.



The site shall identify and control measuring equipment used to monitor critical control points, product safety and legality. This shall include as a minimum:


  • a documented list of equipment and its location
  • an identification code and calibration due date
  • prevention from adjustment by unauthorised staff
  • protection from damage, deterioration or misuse.



All identified measuring devices, including new equipment, shall be checked and where necessary adjusted:


  • at a predetermined frequency, based on risk assessment
  • to a defined method traceable to a recognised national or international standard where possible.


Results shall be documented. Equipment shall be readable and be of a suitable accuracy for the measurements it is required to perform.



Reference measuring equipment shall be calibrated and traceable to a recognised national or international standard and records maintained. The uncertainty of calibration shall be considered when equipment is used to assess critical limits.



Procedures shall be in place to record actions to be taken when the prescribed measuring devices are found not to be operating within specified limits. Where the safety or legality of products is based on equipment found to be inaccurate, action shall be taken to ensure at-risk product is not offered for sale.








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Posted 17 April 2018 - 01:20 PM

Also double check state/federal requirements for scales....if they are being used for "trade" there will be some requirement to ensure that your scales are accurate (i.e. not short changing your customers)

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