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Thermometers are critical tools in food service. You require them come cook, cool, hold, and also reheat food safely. A thermometer the is also five degrees off have the right to lead you to market or offer food the is no safe to eat.

You are watching: Why is it necessary to calibrate a thermometer

But you can only count on a thermometer if girlfriend calibrate the often. Exactly how frequently depends on the type of thermometer.

Calibrating her food thermometer is easy. Simply follow these 3 steps:

Test your thermometer’s accuracy using the boil point an approach or the freezing suggest methodAdjust your thermometerRecalibrate her thermometer often

Test her thermometer’s accuracy

To calibrate a thermometer, girlfriend must first test its accuracy in a substance with a recognized temperature. Climate you’ll adjust the thermometer to enhance that temperature.

There are two usual methods for thermometer calibration in food service: the boil point technique and the freezing suggest method.

Boiling suggest method


If you frequently use her thermometer with hot foods, you may want to usage the cook point method when calibrating her thermometer. Remember the water boils at various temperatures depending upon the altitude. To usage this method, you require to understand the boiling allude of water in her area. It’s generally in between 190 and also 212°F (88–100°C).

Once you recognize the boiling point, warm a pot the water. As soon as it has actually reached a rolling boil, insert a thermometer into the water. Make sure the entire sensing area is submerged, but don’t touch the pot v the thermometer. Wait because that the temperature analysis to stop changing. If the temperature reading does not enhance the boiling point, readjust it without acquisition it the end of the water.

This thermometer calibration procedure have the right to be dangerous come use. Take treatment not come burn yourself together you’re calibrating a thermometer. The Food Safety and also Inspection business recommends snipping the thermometer right into the stem sheath. You have the right to hold the sheath horizontally to reduced the thermometer into the water.

Freezing suggest method


The freezing suggest method, likewise known together the ice suggest method, could be the easiest means to calibrate your thermometer. If you regularly use your thermometer to take it the temperature of cold foods, usage this method.

Start by pour it until it is full a glass through ice water. Let the water sit for a pair minutes therefore the temperature settles at 32°F (0°C). Then immerse her thermometer in the water. Don’t permit the thermometer touch the cup. Wait for the temperature reading to stabilize and keep it in the cup as you change it.

Although this method is less dangerous than the boiling suggest method, you might still desire to clip the thermometer to its stem sheath. Host the sheath horizontally to store the thermometer in position as you reduced it into the water.

Adjust your thermometer

Your thermometer must be exact within 2°F (1°C). If you notice a bigger space after trial and error the thermometer’s accuracy, you require to readjust it.

If you can not calibrate one inaccurate thermometer, you have to replace it. Your organization may get inspection violate for making use of inaccurate thermometers.

Because each thermometer is different, the best method to learn just how to calibrate her thermometer is come consult the instructions the came v it. Below, we’ve included general instructions because that calibrating three typical thermometer types.

Bimetal thermometer

If you have a bimetal thermometer, look for a calibration nut beneath the screen dial. You may need a wrench or pliers to revolve the nut.

Digital thermometer

To calibrate a digital thermometer, look for the reset button. If the thermometer does not have actually a reset button, you might not have the ability to calibrate it. Inspect the instructions the came with the product for details.

Liquid-filled thermometer

Some liquid-filled thermometers can be calibrated by moving the thermometer stem within the holder. Inspect the product accuse for much more information.

Recalibrate her thermometer often

A calibrated food thermometer is vital to your capability to prepare and also serve for sure food. Make sure to test your thermometer regularly to make sure it continues to be accurate.

The specific calibration schedule counts on the type of thermometer you use and also how you use it. The following are some guidelines for when you should recalibrate your thermometers.

In general, you have to calibrate bimetal thermometers before every solitary shift.Always calibrate new thermometers or a thermometer that has been dropped.For finest results, monitor the manufacturer’s instructions.

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Now friend know just how to calibrate a thermometer! For more food safety and security tips, check out our food handler training.