Choosing a thermometer for food safety applications!

Choosing a thermometer for food safety applications!

If you work in a food business that makes, transports or stores food that contains meat, fish, dairy, eggs, rice or pasta you need a thermometer. If you have multiple locations, then each location will require a thermometer.

Thermometers are used to determine whether food has been sufficiently cooked is being stored at the correct temperature as well as being cooled and reheated safely. They are also used to determine whether the food is at the correct temperature when it arrives at your location. The Australian food standards require that hazardous foods be stored either below 5°C or above 60°C.

So how do you choose a thermometer for your requirements?
For food safety requirements, a thermometer with a probe is required so that it can be inserted into food, and the thermometer must also have accuracy of +/- 1°C or better.
Can an infrared thermometer be used?

Although infrared thermometers can be useful for quick checks they do not meet the requirements for food safety as they are unable to measure core temperatures, they can only read surface temperatures and they typically have insufficient accuracy. This isn’t to say that infrared thermometers can’t be used for food safety, but it means that an infrared thermometer by itself is insufficient. Some people choose a combined infrared/probe thermometer that gives you the best of both worlds.

So which thermometer should I purchase?

The Sper IC-800042 waterproof HACCP thermometer is a great choice. It has a high accuracy (±0.5°C) probe and the backlight flashes red, warning you of an unsafe temperature, if it reads above 4°C or below 60°C. Audible alarms can also be set on this unit.


If you’re after a cost-effective option, the FlashCheck Waterproof Lollipop thermometer IC-11040 is hard to go past. It is waterproof, and accurate to ±0.5°C between -20°C and +55°C and ±1°C from -40°C to 100°C. It also has a reduced tip to make it easy to insert into food products.


Alternatively if you’re after a combined probe and infrared thermometer then the Testo Waterproof Infrared & Probe thermometer IC-0560-1040 would be an excellent option. It is endorsed by HACCP Australia as a food safe aid, it comes with a manufacturer’s calibration certificate and the probe is accurate to ±0.5 °C (from -30.0 to +99.9°C). The infrared component is accurate to ± 1 °C or ±1.5% (whichever’s greater) from 0 to 250°C.

testo 104-IR

If you’re still unsure about which thermometer is right for you, contact one of our scientists on 1300 737 871 or at [email protected]

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