Temperature Monitoring in Meat Lockers
CAS DataLoggers, Chesterland, Ohio, provided a data logging solution for a slaughterhouse with meat lockers storing product requiring continual temperature monitoring. The meat processor also needed proof of best practices to show regulatory compliance and preserve their reputation. For example, their frozen meat needed to be maintained at -4°F and the fresh meat at 29°F. In the event of an air conditioner compressor failure, the meat could easily spoil and pose a health hazard, so management had an immediate need for a reliable yet affordable temperature monitoring and alarming solution.
The slaughterhouse installed an Accsense VersaLog TC Temperature Data Loggerfor each of its three meat lockers, placing the loggers next to the racks so personnel could easily retrieve the data. These battery-powered, stand-alone recorders each feature eight channels for flexible logging in cold chain applications. Each logger monitors the room’s ambient temperature while itsonboard thermistor records temperature from -40°F to 158°F. It also features sevenexternal thermocouple inputs compatible with every type of thermocouple probe.
For long hauls, each temperature logger has a non-volatile 4MB flash memory that can store up to 2 million measurements and lets users log for extended periods with the choice to stop or overwrite logging when the memory is full. The temperature loggers are compact and lightweight, featuring a rugged aluminum enclosure and conformal coating PCB, to stand up to extreme environments, including the -40°F freezers. Users can set wide-sampling interval selections, such as once every 10 minutes an internal battery is standard with the logger with a life of about 10 years.
Slaughterhouse management connected each data logger to an office PC via USB ports for quick data retrieval to ensure best practices were followed. The Accsense VersaLog solution offer convenient connection flexibility and are also accessible via modem or Ethernet connections.
Accsense VersaLog also handled the freezer alarming requirements. Each data logger has two configurable alarm thresholds available per channel, and the ALARM1 & A2/EXT terminal strips can be configured as alarm outputs so users stay on top of sudden changes in their data. As a failsafe, users configure their temperature logger’s local alarm outputs to trigger a siren whenever the product suddenly goes out of temperature specification, and the onboard LED lights in red when in alarm condition. Each VersaLog reports its alarm status to a host PC via modem, Ethernet device server or USB.
Users also utilize the Accsense VersaLog SiteView software for configuration, downloading, plotting, analysis and alarm reporting. SiteView is an easy-to-use Windows-based application with an intuitive graphic interface that supports USB, serial port and Ethernet connections for easy local and remote access. Fast communication speed enables quick downloads, and users can view data in real-time via chart recording, zoom in/out and add comments to graphs to provide a detailed view of results.
The slaughterhouse benefited from installing Accsense VersaLog in their meat lockers in several key ways. These temperature loggers offered cost-effective functionality, accuracy and memory. Using multiple VersaLogs gave the company a large number of channels to ensure comprehensive monitoring and to create its own customizable temperature monitoring system. The loggers were also indispensable for their alarming capability, while the Windows-based SiteView software came loaded with time-saving setup and configuration features. Now, management would know exactly if and when the meat temperatures went out of specification, quickly identifying the causes. The relevant recordings were then printed out, helping to convince third parties of the slaughterhouse's correct procedures.