Timestrip indicator leaves no grey area in the two to four-hour rule

Studies show that food can be safely held outside of temperature control for short periods of time without a significant increase in the risk of food poisoning. Food poisoning bacteria takes time to grow, which is why the Food Standards Code provides an alternative to holding food below 5°C or above 60°C – it’s the two to four-hour rule.

What’s the solution?

Whilst food is in the temperature danger zone, pathogens have to grow. The goal is therefore to reduce the amount of time food spends in the temperature danger zone – exposed for more than four hours – in order to minimise the risk. If food spends in excess of four hours in this range, you must throw it out.

What are the requirements?

To ensure that the two to four-hour rule is being applied correctly, certain requirements must be met:

• Food Standards Code requirements must be followed for receiving, storage and preparation of potentially hazardous food and ingredients

• Cold foods must not be displayed in direct sunlight or at temperatures above 25°C, as this will allow bacteria to quickly increase in numbers

• A documented system must be maintained to:

– monitor the length of time food is displayed outside temperature control

– ensure food is appropriately identified

– ensure food is disposed of appropriately after four hours

What safety measures exist?

Temperature indicators have been designed specifically to help companies adhere to the two to four-hour rule. At TMSA, we believe in distributing world-class products like the Timestrip®PLUS Food TP-252. Each Timestrip®PLUS indicator is a small self-adhesive la­bel that can be attached to a product, package or carrying card, and needs to be replaced every six months. It monitors temperature and indicates when a max­imum threshold has been breached.

Each product in the range has been engineered for a dif­ferent maximum threshold temperature so customers can choose the Timestrip®PLUS to best suits their needs. The threshold temperature for Timestrip®PLUS Food is 4°C, and indicates if products have breached this temperature and for how long.

To find out more about our Timestrip products click here, or email Samantha at samantha@tempmonitor.co.za for temperature monitor related information.