The key issue in the use of air temperature monitoring equipment in the UK and the EU is the ability to provide adequate evidence of due diligence.
Guidelines were initially set out by the Food Safety Act 1990, however this was deemed out of date following the vast technological advances experienced after regulations were put into place.
It is vital that distributors of chilled and frozen foodstuffs keep goods at the temperatures required by regulators. If there is a temperature related problem, it is nearly impossible that due diligence can be proven unless there are adequate records. This is necessary in order to demonstrate that compliance with industry standards has been achieved to a sufficient standard. Potential offenders must prove they took all reasonable precautions to prevent the offence.
Temperature records must be dated and retained by the operator of the vehicle for at least one year. It is recommended that the measuring system is checked at regular intervals (at least once a year) to ensure correct operation and accuracy of measurement.
In 2005 EC regulation 2073/2005 came into force. This extends to the microbiological safety for food, it complements food hygiene legislation (Food Standards Act 1999) and applies to all businesses involved in the production and handling of foodstuffs. This allows businesses to validate and verify their food safety management procedures, as well as assessing handling and distribution processes. Having an effective temperature monitoring system can make compliance effortless.
In addition, EC regulation 178/2002 refers to the safety of food, tractability, notification of food safety incidents and withdrawal. “It applies to all stages of production, processing and distribution of food and feed, but there is an exemption for primary production for private domestic use, and the domestic preparation, handling, or storage of food for private domestic consumption.”