Legislation introduced by the EU in 2006 makes it a legal requirement for food businesses to implement and maintain hygiene procedures based on HACCP principles. Temperature and humidity levels are both critical factors and Comark offers a range of instruments designed to offer the best in reliability and accuracy.

Wireless systems, due to the absence of cabling, offer users greater flexibility than hard wired systems but up to now they have not been able to provide the same level of reliability in terms of data recording.

To combat this, Comark has just introduced the RF500 wireless system, which sets a new standard in wireless monitoring by providing market-leading data integrity, even in the most demanding environments.

The problem with most wireless systems is that they operate in unpredictable situations where moving vehicles, closing doors, or even shifting stock can obstruct transmissions; this results in the loss of vital data and unacceptable gaps in HACCP records.

Comark’s RF500 system overcomes these problems by using mesh networking and bi-directional communications. Each transmitter can receive as well as transmit information, and by positioning them in a ‘mesh’ arrangement so that each is within range of a number of others, the system will automatically seek an alternative route in the event of a blocked signal. The result is exceptional data integrity and complete peace of mind because records are not compromised.

Three transmitter options cover most temperature, humidity and event requirements, and each gives warning of alarm conditions and shows current readings via an easy to read LCD. Transmitter cases also have BioCote protected surfaces to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mould and fungi, thereby reducing risks from cross contamination.

At the system hub is the advanced RF500 gateway unit. This has the processing power of a PC and, as well as data capture, it enables the system to be programmed in terms of events, logging rates and various alarm conditions, including notification via screens, email, SMS or voice.

It also has a massive memory capacity and can store up to ten years’ data from up to 32 transmitter locations and over 500 channels. Subsequent connection of the gateway unit to a local area network provides remote multiple user access via web browsers, thus several zones can be monitored from a single location at any time of day.

Full audit capability with rapid identification and warning of alarm conditions means the RF500 system aids due diligence and HACCP compliance as required by EU regulation 852/2004.

Typical applications can be found throughout the food industry, and include food production, processing, catering and retail.

Calibration and servicing

Comark has also made calibration and servicing easier for those operations where disruption needs to be kept to a minimum. The company’s answer has been to extend its range of UK nationwide on-site services to include UKAS accredited temperature calibration and full instrument servicing for both wireless monitoring systems and portable thermometers.

The aim is to make it easier for food companies to comply with the stringent requirements of industry regulatory bodies such as The British Retail Consortium. On-site accreditation over the range -40°C to 150°C is carried out in accordance with ISO/IEC17025:2005.