Save the Waygu!

A week or so back I was picking up a few fresh veggies in our little local grocery store.

It’s one of those quirky, boutique shops with a fantastic gold-on-black colour scheme, and staff that know your name and carry your purchases out to the car if you are having a tough day. They smile, chat a little, and let you try samples of new products. They do a mean barista coffee too, so I order one on the way in and imbibe it as I browse.

Anyway, it so happened that the assistant who normally serves me was out in the country, visiting her grandmother who had been ill. Her replacement was a bright-faced school leaver who was doing her best to be efficient and busy; loading the shelves and checking products, then scanning my artichokes and eggplants and packing them carefully into my bags.

Just as she was printing my receipt, I saw Ron, the store owner, hurry across the carpark and through the big main double doors. He has a few of these shops, one in the next town and one across the city and divides his time between them.  But today he wasn’t in a chatty mood.  He went straight to some of the display fridges and check the temperatures, then called over the new assistant.

Well, I’m a curious guy so I loitered a bit. I won’t give you a word-for-word of the conversation, and he was very kind, but apparently in her eagerness the new assistant had overfilled the freezer and not only was one of the doors jammed slightly open, but there was no room for the air to circulate around the meat.

It was all good, easy fixed and a lesson learnt, but as it was almost closing time it could have been worse.  Imagine coming in the next morning to a pool of water on the floor and a pallet of expensive meat to be disposed of.  Not a good thought.

I asked Ron how he knew and he showed me his phone. I have to admit that I felt really smug. The data-loggers he purchased a few months back had paid for themselves in this one incident.

Ron was rather pleased as well.  COVID hadn’t been very kind to the small stores in the area. Ron himself had to shut up shop a few times and cancel two in-house events at the last minute. All-in-all it has been a tough year.

As I left, he was still shaking his head. “I can’t believe just how close I came to losing all that lovely wagyu”.

Why do I need a monitoring system for temperatures?

Although regulations suggest you check temperatures twice a day, there is always so much that can go wrong between these checks. Whether it is an equipment malfunction, a door left open, or even overstocking, it only takes a short while before deterioration of stock starts.

How will I know if something has gone wrong?

One of the great features of the better quality data-loggers is that they can send alerts to your phone within an hour of any anomaly being detected. Even if you are off-site!

Can alerts be sent to more than one phone?

Of course!  If the primary contact doesn’t answer, another alert gets send to a second, then third contact. That alert will annoy the life out of you, until the problem gets actioned.

How will it save me time?

The data-logger will test, analyse and record data every 15 minutes, and this data is then saved on the cloud. Thankfully, those days of tedious manual checking and recording temperatures are over.

In short, what should I be looking for in a good quality data-logger?

  • Consistent, accurate temperature testing
  • Updates sent via a gateway to the cloud
  • Anomaly alerts to key personnel
  • Weekly logs for download
  • Updates and data reports saved on the cloud

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