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The ANT Telecom Blog

Fridge Temperature Monitoring and How to Collect Data with IoT Sensors

Written by Chris Potts | 5 Jun 2024

Fridge Monitoring blog image

For many businesses, monitoring and recording the temperature of their fridges and freezers is an important quality control measure.

According to the food safety agency, fridge temperatures must be below 8°C to keep food stored fresh. And it’s recommended that temperatures should be set to 5°C and below.

Other industries also use refrigeration units to store goods such as the pharmaceutical, life sciences & chemical industries.  

Ensuring goods are stored at the recommended temperatures is crucial for quality purposes. Foods and drugs exposed to high temperatures for long periods, may cause serious harm when subsequently consumed by an unsuspecting customer.

If your business uses refrigeration units to store goods before they’re sold, you’ll likely have to perform regular checks on your appliances to ensure they’re in good working order to comply with quality standards. This usually entails someone measuring and recording their temperature up to 2 or 3 times per day, every day. The resulting paperwork is then filed, so you can refer to it as when audited by the relevant quality inspector.

This process helps to uncover any faults with appliances, before spoilt goods are then sold and subsequently consumed by customers.     A nightmare situation you’ll likely want to avoid at all costs.

However, implementing this process accurately and reliably is easier said than done. Though critical, it’s one of many tasks your team are juggling to perform each day. Furthermore, though easy, it’s dull and repetitive work that no one wants to do along with (in the food industry) monitoring the temperature of dishwashers and controlling water safety (legionella) risks (in Healthcare, Hospitality sectors).

It’s also interesting who's assigned to perform the work, considering the risk to the business if the task isn’t done meticulously.  Do the most junior members of staff on the lowest wage get the role or do the more senior members (e.g. executive chefs) on the highest wage who have the most to lose, i.e. their reputation, if something goes wrong?

Thankfully, there is a third option. Use the latest sensor technology we provide to collect the data for you automatically at more regular intervals throughout the day. It’s reliable, accurate, easy to manage, provides greater insight (that you can access easily) and is far more cost effective than using your internal workforce.


How does it work?
Wireless temperature sensors are installed in each of your registration units to measure the temperature automatically. Data from the sensors are transmitted (via a 4G gateway) to our secure online platform that authorised users can access through their web browser from any PC, Laptop and Smartphone.


In the platform you’ll see the current temperature of all your fridges/freezers in intuitive dashboards. Historical information, showing how temperatures vary throughout the day, night, week and month is seen in charts.

The LoRaWan sensors are wireless, making them easy to install. LoRaWan refers to long range, wide area and is capable of transmitting data over long distances. This feature is hugely beneficial as it means sensors can be installed *inside your refrigeration units without having to feed wire probes through the seals of the door. If at a later date appliances are moved or changed, it’s really easy to move or add sensors without incurring additional install costs.  

It also means fewer gateways are required and sensors can be installed in areas where there is no 4G or WiFi connectivity.


Make compliance easy
Data collected is accurate and makes it far easier to comply with standards such as HACCP. You no longer have to rely on staff members to manually collect the data or worry whether it’s been done accurately and in a reliable manner.

With our automated solution, information is displayed centrally making it accessible to those that need it. Compliance reports are easy to set up and schedule to recipients automatically by email.


Save money by reducing waste and energy  
When refrigeration units fail, replacing the goods stored can be costly as well as inconvenient, especially if replacements must be sourced quickly to not upset or lose customers due to stock issues.

Monitoring equipment manually can detect issues earlier enough to prevent waste in some but not in all cases. Faults that occur at night or aren’t spotted during the day often result in waste. If there is any doubt how long goods have been exposed to higher temperatures, they must be thrown away as it is simply not worth the risk.

With our automated monitoring solution, you can set up alerts to warn you when temperatures reach a certain level. It is also possible to combine temperature thresholds with a time delay. For example, one alarm could be set to warn you should the appliance remain at 8ºC for longer than 30 minutes. However, the 2nd alarm would alert the moment your appliance reaches 10ºC.

Combining alerts in this way helps to ensure you’re notified only when there is an issue worthy of investigation.

Alerts can be distributed to your team by SMS, email and phone call. This early warning will give you precious time to address the fault or move contents to an alternative appliance. What’s more, historical data shown within charts can provide further proof whether goods can be kept or not, making these choices easy to make and providing you with peace of mind.  

Ensuring temperatures are set at the optimum level will help to improve quality and reduce energy usage, thereby saving money. Historical data collected automatically in 15 minute intervals will show you whether your appliance settings need adjusting or not.

Comparison chart

The solution can also help you to identify underperforming assets as that can led to higher energy consumption. By analysing temperature data will help to identify changes in performance patterns. These may indicate maintenance requirements or the need for replacements. These indicators can be used to manage the lifecycle of assets much more effectively and spot a sudden change in energy usage.

You can also compare similar assets directly and overlay sensor charts to easily spot anomalies that could indicate faults or unnecessary energy usage. For example, you can compare performance between multiple freezers across different sites.


Monitor other equipment and environments
You may also find that there are other conditions within your business your colleagues may find helpful to measure and record.

The same platform can be easily expanded to monitor other equipment and business environments such as plant rooms and asset operating areas (ring mains power outage, UPS, air temperature, generator monitoring), Legionella (water safety), energy usage, leak and flood detection, water flow monitoring, environmental CO2, air quality and more.


If you feel that collecting temperature data manually is inefficient and prone to mistakes - why not switch to the latest IoT temperature technology we provide? It’ll help you to comply with standards far more effectively, free up staff time to work on other tasks, reduce waste when appliances fail and correctly adjust temperatures settings leading to energy and cost savings.

Want to know more? Get in touch with us today. We’d love to demonstrate how the technology could help you, answer questions and provide pricing. You can find all our details by clicking on the “contact us” tab at the top of this page.

*Except for -80 and ULT freezers. Sensors measuring these appliances are fixed to the outside with a temperature probe fed through the access port.

Topics: Wireless Sensors, Wireless Automated Monitoring

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