thermal cameras for food safety

Thermal Cameras for Food Safety & Inspection

Sierra Pacific health, food safety, process control Leave a Comment

Thermal cameras for food safety & production inspection are making the way companies process the food we eat in more efficient ways, elevating food safety standards to minimize outbreaks of food-related illnesses.  Food safety is a huge public issue in the United States, though it is highly preventable by maintaining proper criterion.  According to the FDA Food Saftey Standards, the CDC says, “About 48 million people (1 in 6 Americans) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die each year from foodborne diseases.”  This, from a study spanning 1996 – 2010, where the CDC  reported food related illness outbreak occurred early on in the production chain, somewhere between, “growing, harvesting, manufacturing, processing, packing, holding, or transportation.”  Each of these steps in the production chain involves some sort of human error. However, using thermal cameras for food safety & process control can drastically reduce preventable oversights in food processing to avoid such breakouts in the future.

Thermal cameras for food safety & inspection are replacing meat thermometers and eliminating human error

Thermal cameras for food safety & inspection are replacing meat thermometers and eliminating human error

Foremost, using thermal cameras for food safety & inspection are a fantastic quality control tool, assuring that food is cooked to a proper temperature and not overcooked or undercooked.  Meat, for example, must be cooked to a high enough internal temperature at the proper amount of time to ensure harmful bacteria that could lead to sickness (or even death) are killed in the process.  Meat thermometers have been traditionally used to monitor the temperature measurements, and that’s great if you are cooking a turkey at home. In a factory environment, however, checking meat manually with thermometers is time consuming and is plagued with human error. Whereas, thermal cameras can scan the temperature of the meat traveling down a conveyor belt, and in large quantities.  It can also use infrared camera software to determine if there are any issues or discrepancies in the temperature scans, and point them out quite easily using color-coded thermograms to highlight those issues. In this case, using thermal cameras for food safety not only prevents human error, it also saves time & energy costs in the long run, without having to physically touch the products at all. It also contributes to a process standard, ensuring a consistent quality of the product to be sold to the consumer with less waste.

Thermal cameras for food safety are also a valuable asset when it comes to food packaging and sealing.  Microwave meals, for example, typically have a cardboard base the food is deposited into and then are sealed with a thin plastic film on top with glue.  Thermal cameras can both see that:

  • Enough food was placed into the container to be sealed
  • The plastic seal’s integrity is maintained and not leaking air

At this point, the thermal cameras can scan an entire conveyor belt and put the products in one of two categories: either go or no go.  All no go products can be removed from the line, and that data is transmitted to the infrared software for  analysis on the remote computer.  Using this data can generate alerts the next time a certain number of products fail, thus keeping a persistent brand standard.

Thermal cameras for food safety can detect improperly sealed cellophane on TV dinners

Thermal cameras for food safety can detect improperly sealed cellophane on TV dinners

Thermal Cameras for Food Safety & Inspection Can be Used for:

  • Monitoring goods baked or dried in ovens
  • Monitoring oven temperature
  • Checking cellophane, can & box seals
  • Monitoring freezers & refrigeration
  • Quality assurance & process control
  • Energy audit of equipment to prevent overheated components

Useful Food Safety Links

For information on food safety standards or preventing food-borne illnesses , please visit the following links.


 Thermal Cameras for Food Safety & Inspection from SPI Corp

SPI Corp manufactures thermal cameras that can be used in food safety preparation, inspection & process control. Our cameras have pan tilt zoom capability and we can customize them to fit your existing system. Call us today and ask about how we can improve your automation & temperature measurements, cut costs and help eliminate human error when it comes to food safety.  Call us at (702) 369-3966 in the Las Vegas area, (800) 403-2983 toll free, or email us at sales@x20.org.

Or, you can view our Industrial Infrared Camera Products for more information.

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