Either way, the technology is on the order of standard practice in Europe, says Teich (based in Ingolstadt, Germany). “It’s funny, the FDA came up with this great concept of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) but had few ideas about implementing or enforcing it.” Taking the regulatory lead, such policies abroad mean it’s common in Germany and other countries to have data loggers within a walk-in refrigerator in stores and restaurants.
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It’s been Teich’s observation that temperature recording in non-transport situations is often done with a handheld thermometer, with results recorded by hand. Perhaps the recently passed Food Safety Act is applying the needed pressure for change, as Teich notes an uptick in his sales. “We see more interest now in smaller stores and restaurants in the U.S. for data loggers,” he says. “You always have that complete digital record, so anytime a food inspector comes you have an automated report that you can quickly produce.”
All the technology in the world won’t help you if someone left the door open, thus, the vertical storing dock leveler, such as those made by Dock Products Canada, Inc., Ontario. Steve Kalbfleisch, director of Canadian sales, explains, “Instead of storing a leveler in a position parallel to the floor, this one stands straight up behind the overhead motor.” Among other things, this provides for a better seal than conventional levelers. “This preserves cooling and conserves energy because the overhead door comes down to the bottom of the pit as opposed to say the top of the leveler where you have all kinds of gaps.”
Recently added to the standard vertical dock offering is the new Serco Thermal Guard Package that allows for truck doors to be opened from inside the building after the truck is positioned at the door, thereby retaining the thermal seal at the dock.
“People are becoming far more conscious of energy consumption,” says Kalbfleisch, “so with that in mind, we’re recommending the appropriate equipment for our customers to help them reach that goal.”
Canavan is a science/medical writer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Reach him at email@example.com.