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Infrared thermometers as a form of temperature verification of incoming raw materials?

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Posted 15 December 2022 - 04:27 PM



I was wondering if anyone has experience with using infrared thermometers as a form of temperature verification of incoming raw materials? The processing director asked if we were able to use these at receiving opposed to probe thermometers. In my experience we have use a MIG thermometer for base measurement and then the K-State ice bath method for the probe thermometers. 


I am having trouble finding an infrared thermometer that can be calibrated as USDA does not "approve" a certain thermometer. The majority of what I see states that they come calibrated which I have found to be false with some of the manufacturers. 


Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.


Thank you!



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Posted 15 December 2022 - 04:44 PM

We use Milwaukee brand infra red and have found they hold calibration quite well --we get about 18 months out of them before replacing them when they become out of calibration because we cannot adjust them -but they are inexpensive


We are CFIA inspected and have not had an issue with them  HOWEVER we do not require an internal temp, so this thermometer type works for us


Since infrared only gives a surface temperature, it may not be suitable for most incoming ingredients----if the refer is set to 32F, the surface may be that cold, but the middle of a supersak or combo most likely will be significantly higher, which if nothing else, will/could reduce your shelf life on the finished goods

Please stop referring to me as Sir/sirs

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Posted 16 December 2022 - 11:43 AM

In my opinion, you should not be using infrared thermometers for incoming goods checks as they only give a surface temperature and not a core temperature (products can be colder on the outside than on the inside).

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Posted 16 December 2022 - 04:56 PM

I have the same objections about only reading surface temperature.  Even if you're opening goods during receiving, you'd only be getting a top level scan of the goods.


As to calibration, there are a fair number of Infared thermometers that will give you a certificate of the factory calibration, but you're not going to be able to recalibrate them on your own.  You can verify they're in-spec by scanning crushed ice and boiling water, like you would with a probe type thermometer, but once they fail a verification you'd either have to replace them or see if the manufacturer can repair and recertify for you.

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