Temperature profiling system gathers data as beef, pork, veal, chicken and turkey products travel through the cooking and chilling processes and helps one food processor demonstrate compliance.

Advance Food uses the temperature profiler's software to quickly determines if the cooking process meets USADA lethality requirements.

From its humble beginnings in 1973, Advance Food Co. has become one of the leading national manufacturers of portion-controlled meat products for the foodservice industry. The company manufactures preportioned, ready-to-cook and fully cooked beef, pork, veal, chicken and turkey products. Some of the company's most popular products include a full line of country fried steaks, Steak-Eze Philly steaks, and Kitchen Sensations. The products are sold to restaurants, schools, military bases and healthcare facilities.

Not only must Advance Food Co. work to stay focused on the changing marketplace, but it must stay on top of proper packaging procedures, food safety, refrigeration technology and proper waste disposal. Everyday, on every production line, there are specific precautions taken to meet and exceed USDA regulations. From beginning to end, Advance Food Co.'s food products are held to the highest standards to ensure the best quality possible.

At its Enid, Okla., plant, Advance Food Co. uses temperature profiling systems such as the MultiPaq 21 from Datapaq Inc., Wilmington, Mass., as part of its quality assurance program. The temperature profiler gathers data from the product as it travels through the process. According to Advance, it is the most reliable means of measuring specification compliance. The MultiPaq 21 is specifically designed to travel with the product through the fry, cook and freeze processes. Thermocouples are inserted into the food item and attached to a datalogger. A thermal barrier protects the data logger from the hostile environment of the process, including deep fat fryers and blast freezers.

The thermal profiler rides along in the process in a food tray for small products. This ensures ease of use and repeatability of results.

The temperature data collected while the datalogger travels through the process is transferred to a PC, where the profile data can be analyzed in detail. Using customized calculations such as peak temperature, time at temperature and lethality calculations (Fo), the Critical Control points of the cook and chill processes can be verified and then used to create documentary proof of HACCP compliance.

Nanditha Gande, laboratory manager at Advance Food Co.'s plant in Enid, Okla., regularly profiles the various production lines in the plant. She finds her profiler reliable and easy to use. “After every run, I download the Paqfile to my computer and apply my process parameters to that file. At a glance, I can tell if any parameters are out of specification. I especially like my system's automatic Fo analysis. It documents lethality and warns me if the run is out of compliance. The automatically generated standard report is the best process validation tool I have.”

Regular and routine temperature profiling can comprehensively satisfy all the principles of the HACCP protocol for cook or chill processes. Unlike the limitations of a hand-held thermometer to spot check product core temperatures post-cooking, a system that travels with the product provides a complete historic record of the product temperature during the process at varying points, both in the oven and in the product. Temperature profiling provides the means to validate processes, maximize throughput and ensure quality.

For more information on temperature profiling systems from Datapaq Inc., Wilmington, Mass., call (978) 988-9000 or visit www.datapaq.com