Food Safety

A Complete Guide to Equipment Calibration

Klipspringer’s Laboratory Manager Explains Lead Times, The Calibration Process, and More…

When it comes to equipment calibration, striking the balance between speed, thoroughness, and efficiency is crucially important.

Every year without fail, food businesses lose thousands in revenue when equipment is returned for calibration. Downtime forces production to slow, resulting in wasted labour, a depleted inventory, and a bottleneck in work.

At the other end of the scale, uncalibrated equipment is an even riskier alternative. It leaves food businesses at risk of low-quality products, non-compliant manufacturing or service processes, and unsatisfied customers.

Calibrations are a complex process - but ensuring their timeliness is essential for food businesses

With an in-house UKAS laboratory that oversees more than 10,000 calibrations annually, we are regularly asked a range of questions about equipment calibration, from the process of recalibrating equipment to the factors impacting lead times.

Based on an interview between Radek Tameczka (our Laboratory Manager) and Alex Blair (our Content Lead), this article answers the following FAQs:

What is calibration and why is it important?

How often should I calibrate my equipment?

How do I return my equipment for calibration?

How long should the calibration process take?

Which equipment types need calibrating?

Radek Tameczka, Laboratory Manager at Klipspringer

What is calibration and why is it important?

Drawing on his 15 years’ experience in the industry, Radek pointed out a key misconception surrounding calibration. “Calibration is often mistaken to mean adjustment. That’s not always the case. In many instances, calibration means verification of what the instrument reads at a very specific point.”

For example, a thermometer calibration involves a verified analysis of its temperature accuracies. Most laboratories verify the thermometer’s accuracy at three different temperature points, such as -18°C, 0°C, and 100°C.

If the instrument is adjustable, then the calibration process can involve modifications. If it is not adjustable, equipment is returned with a calibration certificate stating any divergence, such as -18.2°C, 0.3°C, and 100.5°C.

UKAS calibration certificate

The importance of this cannot be overstated. Yes, certification proves that your instruments are traceable to a UKAS-accredited standard – in Klipspringer’s case, international standard ISO/IEC17025. Calibration certificates also enhance company adherence to food safety standards and are one of the most common requests made by assessors during audits.

But, most crucially, certificates also explicitly demonstrate the exact accuracy of an instrument. Neither subjectivity nor error are tolerable when it comes to food compliance. Customer safety is at risk – particularly with temperature, where the difference between safe and unsafe food could be as little as one degree.

How often should I calibrate my equipment?

In conversation with Radek, he outlined four specific factors that determine the necessary frequency of calibration. These are:

1) Equipment type

In general, most equipment requires consistent calibration, although, logically, certain types of instruments require recalibration on a more regular basis than others. Humidity meters, refractometers, and callipers are all examples of instruments that should be frequently recalibrated.

2) Usage

A general rule of thumb here: as a piece of equipment receives more use, the frequency of its calibrations must increase proportionately. For example, thermometers are usually expected to be calibrated at least once a year – but Radek says some food businesses send their units in for calibration every 4-6 months because their usage is so high.

3) Likelihood of readings changing without recalibration

For equipment which sees regular shifts in readings, more frequent calibration is required. These might include data or process loggers. Conversely, it is not as essential to repeatedly recalibrate instruments which maintain the accuracy of readings for longer.

4) Capacity to calibrate the equipment on-site

Some food businesses are able to calibrate their equipment on-site. For instruments like pH and conductivity meters – which are expected to be calibrated daily – it makes sense to keep the majority of these verifications in-house, with occasional external confirmations.

Radek underlined the importance of an external validation procedure to confirm that units are still working within their specification. Cross-checking confirms in-house calibrations and drives compliance.

In a recent conversation with Ben Foster, an Equipment Engineer at Pharma, Radek was told that they calibrate their pH meters in-house every day. However, for traceability and good practice, Pharma also sends all pH meters to a third-party at least once a year to confirm these readings and ensure the highest safety standards.

While it is impossible to provide an exact calibration timeline for all scenarios, a quick appraisal of your equipment based on those four factors should give you an approximate idea of how often you should calibrate your instruments. If you want a more personalised idea, feel free to contact our Calibration Team: 01473 461800.

How do I return my equipment for calibration?

The below outline is based on our internal calibration process at Klipspringer, overseen by Radek as Laboratory Manager.

Calibrations that fall within the UKAS-specified -30°C to 150°C range are always carried out internally, according to the following procedure:

1) After communicating with the team and raising a quotation, the customer sends their equipment to our laboratory

2) This equipment is booked in; the customer is sent an email confirmation, specifying exactly what the lab team is going to do with the equipment

3) If the equipment is booked in for UKAS calibration, customer will receive an email with confirmation of temperature point the unit will be calibrated at

4) A lab technician is designated to the task – they either begin the calibration immediately, or carry out any necessary technical repair beforehand

5) Equipment sent in for UKAS calibration will need to be stabilised at an ambient temperature of 20°C ±4 for up to 24 hours before performing the calibration

6) Once repaired and/or calibrated, a certificate is issued to the customer and uploaded to the Audit Portal

7) The lab job is passed onto the Service Team, who send an email quotation to the customer to confirm any final details

8) Following customer approval, equipment is returned to the customer, usually on the same day, or at least within three working days

A calibration laboratory

How long should the calibration process take?

Defined as the time elapsed between the start and end of the calibration process, calibration lead time is a crucial metric in the food industry used to calculate how quickly and efficiently your equipment can be calibrated, returned, and operating once more.

By making enquiries among our customers, we ascertained that, on average, most companies in the industry operate with calibration lead times of 4-7 days. Sometimes these turnaround times are as lengthy as 2-3 weeks!

According to Radek, there is no hard-and-fast rule for lead times. But there are two factors that markedly influence lead times: the number of calibration orders at any one time, and the resources available to manage them.

The Klipspringer Lab

It is also true that some companies simply prioritise calibrations more than others. When asked why Klipspringer are able to guarantee that all in-house calibrations are fully completed within three working days, Radek replied:

“We have several skilled lab workers constantly on the calibrations, completing each with meticulous attention. It comes down to efficiency and experience.”

Which equipment types need calibrating?

In short, the stringent compliance regulations of the food service and production industries necessitate regular verification of the majority of equipment used in kitchens, warehouses, and production lines. This is particularly true since the BRCGS announced Issue 9 of the Global Standards in Food Safety, auditable from 1 February 2023.

Below is a comprehensive list of various instrumentation types that Radek stipulated as requiring consistent calibration.


  • Data Loggers
  • Process Loggers
  • Liquid ‘In-Glass’ Thermometers
  • In-House Thermometer Verifiers (also known as Temperature Simulators)


  • pH and Conductivity Meters
  • Reflectometers (measure the reflectivity of objects)
  • Anemometers (measure the speed of wind or gas currents)
  • Refractometers (measure the index of refraction)


  • Handheld Units
  • Loggers
  • Dry-Block Calibrators


  • Callipers (measure the dimensions of an object)
  • Scales and Weights
  • Oil Quality Measurement
  • Hygiene Monitors

Radek emphasised that, while this list encompasses most of the instrumentation most frequently calibrated at Klipspringer’s in-house lab, it is not exhaustive – other types of equipment will also need calibration.

If you’re unsure about anything calibration-related, please contact our customer service team at: 01473 461800. A member of our team will consult one of our Calibration Experts about your specific requirements, before giving you all the relevant information.

Alternatively, you can read another research-led article we wrote detailing how to understand your UKAS calibration certificate.

Klipspringer to Sponsor BRCGS Food Safety Europe Conference 2023

What is the Food Safety Europe Conference?

We are delighted to announce that, as a BRCGS partner organisation, Klipspringer will be returning to sponsor this year’s Food Safety Europe Conference (FSEC).

Curated to enhance European food safety management across retail, food service, and manufacturing environments, the FSEC is an exemplar industry event. It provides a platform for leading figures to pool their knowledge, resulting in invaluable insights and feedback for attendees.

The one-day conference will also feature keynote presentations from influential companies including Amazon, Nestle, and Just Eat, alongside decisive regulators such as the Food Standards Agency and, of course, the BRCGS itself. Their newly revised Global Standards for Food Safety Issue 9 will be a topic of hot discussion at the FSEC.

When and where is FSEC23, and how much does it cost?

Date: Wednesday 1st February

Time: 8:00am–5:00pm

Location: Etc Venues, 133 Houndsditch, Liverpool Street, London, EC3A 7BX

Price: £330-£1,170 (depending on ticket type) – use the code KLIP20 for a 20% discount on your ticket registration price here.

FSEC23 – Ones to watch

There are numerous presentations and panel sessions at this year’s FSEC which look highly promising. Below, we’ve outlined a few which caught our eye…

08:45–9:10am: Outlining Amazon’s Approach to Food Safety

Delivered by John Michael Piggott, EU Head of Food Safety, this keynote speech will undoubtedly be a strong start to the conference. It is likely to contain important information regarding the food safety assurances required by the world’s largest online retailer, who are now branching into food delivery.

09:35–10:15am: Horizon Scanning to Determine and Plan for Potential Food Safety Challenges

Following a year plagued by supply chain issues caused by war, fuel costs, and climate change-driven weather, experts from Waitrose, Barilla, and the Food Standards Agency will discuss lessons from 2022 and forecast challenges for 2023 in what looks set to be an engaging panel debate.

10:50–11:15am: BRCGS Presentation: What is New in Issue 9?

On 1 August 2022, the BRCGS released their latest version of the Global Standards for Food Safety, a global benchmark against which leading companies set their requirements for compliance. This presentation is relevant for those seeking more information on the widely read article our expert team at Klipspringer researched and compiled on the key changes from Issue 8 to Issue 9.

14:50–15:15pm: Microbiology Under the Microscope: New Trends, Tools, and Challenges

Led by John Donaghy, Head of Food Safety, Corporate Operations and Quality Management at Nestle, this afternoon session might perhaps go under some attendees’ radars. However, for those interested in future trends in food production (especially plant-based proteins) it is certainly worth a listen.

These talks are merely the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to browse the full conference agenda here.

For any questions about the Food Safety Europe Conference, our team are more than happy to help, if you contact us at: 01473 461 800.

Interested in attending? Click here to register – and don’t forget that KLIP20 discount code for 20% off!

In-House Thermometer Verification Methods Explained

Whenever temperature plays a role in the food safety or quality of a product, checking thermometer calibration is a critical part of the technical department’s routine.

For some it’s daily and for others it’s weekly. Whichever it is, there are three main ways technical and quality teams throughout the world do this:

Ice & Boiling Water

For many years, ice and boiling water was the favorite method, mainly due to the fact it was the only option!

Although it seems simple and inexpensive, it has several downfalls which compromise both its accuracy and safety for use in the modern food factory.

  • Low cost
  • Check multiple probes at once
  • Temperatures are constantly increasing or decreasing, requiring an additional reference thermometer
  • Difficult to obtain consistent, repeatable results
  • Health & safety risk from boiling water
  • Takes significant time to set up, carry out and clear up.

Test Caps

Test caps are a quick and convenient way to check thermometer units, doing away with many of the problems presented by ice and boiling water.

Are they really the straightforward solution that they seem?

  • Safe to use
  • Fast checking process with no set up required
  • Not suitable for thermometers with integral probes
  • Every test cap needs externally calibrating to UKAS standard each year
  • Test caps simulate the electrical current of a probe. 20 years’ worth of data shows that the majority of thermometer accuracy issues are with the probe, so if the thermometer is perfect but the probe is not reading correctly, test caps will not identify this.

The LazaPort Family

Klipspringer launched the first Lazaport into the food industry as a safer, faster and more accurate way to check probe thermometers on site.

20 years on, Klipspringer is launching the third generation model to further improve the efficiency and compliance of on-site temperature calibration.

  • Calibrates probe and thermometer together at 0 and 100°C
  • Rapid process to check multiple probes at once, with minimal set-up required
  • Traceable to UKAS standard and accurate to +/- 0.3°C
  • No separate reference thermometer required
  • Also calibrates infrared thermometers
  • Adjustable for different probe dimensions and types

Interested to find out more about how the LazaPort works, and what benefits it could bring to your team?

TRAKKD: Boosting Compliance, Traceability, and Sustainability Across the Hospitality Industry

Providing global visibility to local data on a digital, paperless system that reduces waste, saves time, and minimises system costs

In the current hospitality landscape, pioneering companies are looking to reassess their methods, practices, and procedures, setting a new course of action for the post-pandemic era of hospitality.

High-quality digital mangement is crucial to their key objective of pivoting towards a future that is digital, transparent, traceable, and adaptable. Newer, more innovative systems are finally replacing the endless mounds of compliance paperwork.

What are Digital Quality Management Systems?

Digital quality management systems are software solutions that help organisations manage and improve their quality management processes. This software connects and harmonises data between its digitised host and key processes in food prodution and service.

TRAKKD is a digital quality management system. As an entirely digital host of cloud-accessed data, it ensures that hospitality teams are never lacking the most important information. TRAKKD simplifies data analysis and strengthens food compliance, seen in its successful implementation by well-established brands such as McDonalds, KraftHeinz, and Albron, among others.

How does TRAKKD work, and how much can it save?

Put simply, TRAKKD has two core parts: the digital checklist, and the real-time wireless monitoring.

Moving away from manual paperwork towards a digital checklist system modernises information storage processes. As an entirely paperless app, it limits the amount of paper discarded in landfill sites, while making detailed calculations for regular food waste savings – integral to sustainability pledges. TRAKKD keeps all food safety data in one secure location, rather than in overwhelming piles of time-consuming paperwork.

See a specific cost savings breakdown below based on TRAKKD’s implementation at Albron, a leading food service and catering company with over 700 venues throughout Europe.


Cost of Current Method

Cost of Digital Method (TRAKKD)

Price per manual per year per location (paper, printing, sending, etc)

     -Complete manual /registration provided as a book

     -Per location £307 (per year)



Labour hours (filling in checklists) per location

     -Average 1.25 hours per week using current method

     -Average 1 hour per week using digital method

     -Fewer temperatures have to be taken using real-time temperature monitoring, saving 0.5 hours per week on average

     -Hourly pay rate: £12.50



Checklist management per year (maintenance, archiving, approval etc of checklists)

     -Quality support at HQ and regional managers involved in the process

     -Estimated savings of 2 FTE



Reduction of inspections (from two per year to one or ideally zero)

     -Inspections cost £132 per visit


£132 or £0

Reduction of travel to separate locations (fuel, car maintenance, CO2 reduction, time saved)

     -Due to TRAKKD’s HQ/regional dashboarding and reporting, teams travel less frequently to single locations, management spends less time creating reports etc)

Hard to quantify, but one of the most significant costs in this table

As seen above, TRAKKD offers savings totalling more than £88,000 per year. And that’s not including waste savings due to equipment failure, especially of fridges and freezers.

This is because TRAKKD’s features allow users to make informed decisions about performance based on accurate data analysis, filtered by any parameter including user, site, region, country, etcetera – invaluable information for eliminating food safety hazards.

In the past, such information was only available on paper at the location itself, whereas TRAKKD’s global cloud access makes its data reachable wherever, 24/7. This traceability also pinpoints the root cause of any mishap, preventing any costly re-occurrences in future.

As put by Ruud Homan, Operations Manager at Albron: “TRAKKD gives us the opportunity to adjust immediately. In addition, it offers the possibility to make trend analyses at various levels. This gives us fast and actionable insights into which areas are performing better and which need improvement. We can then quickly adjust, operationally, according to these findings.”

Can TRAKKD connect with other equipment?

The second part of TRAKKD is real-time wireless monitoring with Bluetooth connectivity.

Using sensors compatible with its state-of-the-art software, TRAKKD combines the routine reporting and digital management system outlined above with wireless monitoring across a variety of parameters.

Of these parameters, the all-in-one temperature monitoring system has been highly praised by TRAKKD’s early adopter companies, above all its automatic synchronisation of information, which eliminates costly human error. As the first provider to offer this fully integrated hardware, we are immensely proud of the positive impact TRAKKD has had in better preparing food businesses for upcoming audits, while also saving vast amounts of money.

What are the main benefits of TRAKKD?

There are three overarching benefits to the implementation of a digital quality management system like TRAKKD.

1) Reduced Waste

Having to discard stock due to faults or coldspots in food storage areas is a massive drain on funds. TRAKKD prevents this, identifying potential breaches of compliance before they occur.

There is also a sustainability benefit to this. On average, 1/3 of our individual carbon footprint is made up of what we eat and drink. A primary consideration for many food businesses is how to cut this footprint. Choosing producers and suppliers who calculate the CO2 impact per product is one method. Operating with a system that – through rigorous, accurate tracking – significantly reduces food waste is another method.

2) Time Saved

By managing all data, checklists, and warnings in one place, on one app, TRAKKD significantly cuts the amount of time employees waste on manual paperwork checks and temperature monitoring checks. This ensures employees have sufficient time to focus on what they’re there to do – preparing and serving food!

Unlike other systems, TRAKKD is designed to be user-friendly to the extent that, once employees receive our training in how to professionally operate the system, this can be done independently, without any devious add-ons in price.

3) Minimised System Costs

Costs are lower than other digital management systems thanks to TRAKKD’s pay-per-kitchen model – a pricing structure which actually suits hospitality businesses, rather than the conventional pay-per-user system. In turn, this allows food businesses to offer greater affordability in prices for their loyal customer base, without compromising on compliance or quality.

Designed for kitchen teams, clients, contract teams, compliance managers, front-of-house teams (or really just any food team member, anywhere), TRAKKD offers an innovative digitised solution to post-pandemic food safety in the hospitality sector.

If you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our team of experts to arrange an initial consultation: 01473 461 800. We also offer a completely free of charge 30-day trial for those wanting to test out TRAKKD first.

If you want to learn more about our most popular digital quality management system, click below to download our TRAKKD information sheet.

What is the Best Way to Check Oil Quality?

Resolving the TPM vs FFA Debate

At Klipspringer, we’ve been helping manufacturing and hospitality businesses to ensure food compliance for over 20 years. By removing all guesswork from food oil management, we’ve modernised food safety for the likes of McDonalds, Whitbread, Chopstix, Wasabi, and Five Guys.  

One of the most frequent questions we receive from our customers is: which method of checking oil quality is most accurate, compliant, and objective? This article aims to answer that question, addressing a much-contested area of food oil management: the TPM (Total Polar Materials) vs FFA (Free Fatty Acids) debate.

Read on to find out more.  

Why does frying oil need testing?

Frying produces exceptionally flavoursome food. It is an inexpensive, rapid, and popular way of cooking, which delivers the ultimate food sensory trifecta of “golden, brown, and delicious”, or “GBD”.  

However, this trifecta is only guaranteed if the food in question is fried in safe, high-quality oil. Past a certain level – where the oil is not brand new, but rather from B-C on the below graph – this quality is jeopardised by the repeated use of oil, which causes it to degrade. When oil is used continually, an increasing number of chemical reactions occur, leading to alterations in its composition.  

As cooking oil degrades, so does the taste, texture, and overall flavour of the food. For manufacturers and hospitality businesses that prioritise product consistency, this can be a pressing issue.  

Product integrity is another area compromised by flawed oil management processes. In the worst-case scenario, it can expose customers to the build-up of acrylamide – a cancer-causing chemical.  

On the other side of the coin is oil wastage. Research has shown that, surprisingly, most businesses prematurely discard usable oil due to basic or outdated testing methods. Amid astronomical rises in oil prices, a growing number of restaurant operators are arriving at the same conclusion: monitoring oil quality ensures compliance, prioritises sustainability, and significantly cuts costs. The only question remaining is how best to do it.  

What are the most common oil testing methods?

Currently, there are three predominant oil testing methods used in the industry. The first is simple, but amateurish. The second is relatively accurate, but subjective. The third is eco-friendly, cost-saving, and entirely objective.  

Read on to learn about the core differences, pros, and cons of each method.   


Method #1 – Visual Inspection 

Unfortunately, many restaurants still change their oil based on a quick visual check. While some chefs with vast amounts of experience can make informed guesses about when to change their oil, their decision is still subjective. It stems from the “we’ve always done it that way” rationale which has come to harm many businesses over the years, whether it be through unnecessary expenditures, unsustainable practices, or audit non-conformances.  

In this day and age, taking a quick glance at a batch of cooking oil and deciding if it’s safe simply doesn’t cut it. This is twofold: the rate of darkening differs from oil to oil, and is also dependent on filtering practices and product types. Overall, visual inspection is better than no method of oil monitoring, but there are more accurate options available.  

Method #2 – FFA Measurement (Test Strips) 

High levels of FFA, or Free Fatty Acids, directly correlate to off-colours, off-odours, and off-flavours in fried food products. FFA is typically measured using test strips. After being dipped into the oil, a range of colours appear on the strip. This is then compared to a colour reference chart to determine FFA levels. Standard test strips measure free fatty acid levels from 2% up to 7%, with 5.5% to 7% as the discard range.  

So, just how effective are FFA Test Strips?  

With an overall accuracy of roughly 80%, these strips offer greater compliance than any visual inspection, but don’t provide the same assurance nor peace of mind as other methods. This is primarily because the comparison of the strips’ colouring with the colour chart is still subjective to inadequate or distorted lighting, and strips can also easily be contaminated by improper storage.  

Studies have found that monitoring methods based on dielectric constant provide more “objective and valuable results” than those based on colorimetric reactions. In other words, methods that go beyond surface-level colouring – outlined below – are more reliable.

Dielectric constant-based methods are also less likely to be single-use, unlike test strips, which result in an ongoing cost of around £300 per year.  

Overall, FFA Measurement is still a reasonable solution for food oil monitoring, but isn’t particularly ground-breaking given modern technological advances. As explained above, there is nothing inherently wrong or non-compliant about it. But, for businesses seeking to go the extra mile, other more innovative options are out there.    

Method #3 – TPM Measurement (Food Oil Monitors) 

Devices which determine cooking oil quality by TPM, or Total Polar Materials, remove the subjectivity found with previously summarised methods. By basing data on changes in the dielectric constant, handheld TPM devices – usually a Food Oil Monitor – are greater in accuracy than FFA-based methods.  

TPM Measurements is the most current method utilised in commercial kitchens. Legislatively encouraged across Europe, the go-to critical parameter for TPM limits falls between 24% to 27%. A TPM reading of higher than 25% is considered the discard point in many European countries.  

Best used at the end of each trading day, when the oil is still hot, Food Oil Monitors are efficient and fast to operate. Kitchen staff simply have to place the sensor stem into the vat of oil, and then use a gentle stirring motion until the light at the top of the instrument begins to flash. If the Monitor flashes green, the oil is safe to use again. If it flashes amber, the oil needs changing soon. If it flashes red, the oil requires immediate changing.  

For smaller establishments, a potential drawback of Food Oil Monitors is the upfront cost – usually in the region of £400. However, once purchased and implemented, the Monitors typically show a return on investment within six months, and should last for three or more years. What’s more, these Monitors can be specifically calibrated to various oil types, and are able to verify temperature, as well as oil quality.  





Visual Inspection

Simple eye test based on oil colour

  • Speedy

  • Inaccurate

  • Dependent on individual judgement

  • Lack of product integrity & consistency

FFA Measurement

Uses test strips and a colour chart to measure Free Fatty Acids

  • Relatively accurate (around 80%)

  • Compliant

  • Single-use (£300 per year in ongoing costs & wastage)

  • Subjective to inadequate or distorted lighting

  • Contaminated by improper storage

TPM Measurement

Uses a Food Oil Monitor to measure Total Polar Materials

  • Uses the dielectric constant for high accuracy

  • Compliant

  • Objective

  • ROI within 6 months

1. Upfront cost of around £400

Hopefully this summary has given you a structured insight into the best ways to check oil quality, and has provided some clarity in settling the age-old debate between FFA and TPM.  

Want to quickly outline each oil monitoring method’s pros and cons with your team? Refer to the above table for a concise overview.  

For a concrete example of how Food Oil Monitors have helped companies increase compliance and cut oil usage, read about how Whitbread made savings of up to 52%. 

Culture in Hygiene: Webinar 2, Maximising the Hygiene Window

Maximising the Hygiene Window

All food businesses recognise the vital importance of the Hygiene Window to ensure cleanliness and drive compliance. But little guidance is ever offered on how to actually put this into action.

Based on the second webinar in the three-part ‘Culture in Hygiene’ series, this article addresses this issue. Following on from the previous webinar, in which three industry experts discussed hygiene team engagement and retention, this information-packed panel provides tangible advice on how to maximise the Hygiene Window.

This webinar is hosted by Alex Carlyon, a Director at Klipspringer with over 18 years of industry experience. Alex is joined by Nick Turner, a Director at FoodClean, and Andy Fletcher, a Technical Consultant with over 30 years’ experience in the food industry.

If you’re interested in a specific part of this webinar, browse the below menu to skip ahead to the section most relevant to your food safety needs:

1) Cleaning Efficiency

2) Labour Efficiency

3) Zone Segregation

Click below if you’d prefer to watch the full webinar and download the corresponding slides.

1) Cleaning Efficiency

In this section of the webinar, Nick and Andy delve into some of the biggest barriers to cleaning efficiency during the Hygiene Window. These vary from missing equipment to a lack of segregation. Nick and Andy then outline several solutions around cleaning equipment, storing tools, and protecting machinery, all of which saves costs, time, and non-conformances.

2) Labour Efficiency

Calculated in cost per minute, downtime is an expensive part of the Hygiene Window which teams must be made aware of. Nick and Andy strongly encourage bringing the hygiene team in on the journey to foster greater understanding and communication – as well as the value of ready-to-use equipment to reduce operator frustration and improve labour efficiency.

3) Zone Segregation

Thirdly, Alex draws on his extensive experience to discuss the role of zone segregation. His advice on mitigating the risks of in-process cleaning includes effective production scheduling, low pressure cleaning equipment, and mobile screening – which he provides visual examples of from a recent visit to an A.G. Barr Factory.

Watch below for more.

For more in-depth webinar content on this topics, take a look at the third episode in our ‘Culture in Hygiene’ series.

Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our Hygiene Experts below, or by contacting us at: 01473 461 800.

    Culture in Hygiene: Webinar 1

    Hygiene Team Engagement and Retention

    Culture in food safety is one of the most crucial aspects to guaranteeing unwavering compliance. In fact, a lacklustre food safety culture plan was identified as one of the eight most common non-conformities by the BRCGS in their recently updated issue of the Global Standards of Food Safety.

    For that reason, our team at Klipspringer decided it was time to address Culture in Hygiene across a three-part webinar series.

    Hosted by Alex Carlyon, a Director at Klipspringer with over 18 years of industry experience, the first part of this series focuses on how to engage with and retain an efficient, high-functioning hygiene team. Today, Alex is joined by Phil May, Technical Support & Hygiene Manager at leading manufacturers Greencore, and Lars Turner, Food Industry Specialist at cleaning solution providers FoodClean.

    Interested in a specific part of this webinar?

    Browse the below menu to skip ahead to the section most relevant to your food safety needs:

    1) Protecting Your Team

    2) Equipment Choice

    3) Induction and Training

    4) Sustaining Good Practice

    5) Ongoing Process Refinement

    Click below if you’d prefer to watch the full webinar.

    1) Protecting Your Team

    Amid staff shortages and a smaller pool of skilled workers, ensuring that team members are safe at work is an absolute MINIMUM requirement for maintaining an effective and loyal team.

    In this section of the webinar, Lars and Phil provide several tangible examples to demonstrate the value of an operator-first approach. They discuss how labour retention is always higher among a well-protected and engaged team – and the positive economic and environmental impact this can have for food businesses.

    2) Equipment Choice

    Each year, hundreds of thousands of workers suffer from equipment-inflicted injuries. Equipment construction and maintenance was the third most common category of non-conformance identified by the BRCGS in their abovementioned Issue 9

    As explained by Phil and Lars, reduction in injury is just one facet to improving culture in hygiene. Watch below as they dissect the higher motivation and increased lifespan of equipment resulting from an ‘operator-owned’ model of workplace production.

    3) Induction and Training

    Thirdly, Alex and Phil delve into the importance of the initial onboarding process in developing an outstanding hygiene culture.

    Alex addresses the issue of high staff turnover – a common problem with many workers currently coming through recruitment agencies. Recognising that training is an ongoing process and making Critical Control Points (CCPs) highly visual is also suggested.

    4) Sustaining Good Practice

    Creating and implementing these processes is all well and good, but their long-term impact will be limited if they are not sustained. Drawing on several visual examples, Alex illustrates how to prolong and consolidate hygiene processes through adaptability.

    5) Ongoing Process Refinement

    Lastly, Lars and Phil return to offer valuable insights about ongoing process refinement.

    Contrary to popular belief, they recommend a culture which encourages workers to challenge the status quo, as the most powerful improvements often come from unexpected sources. Root Cause Analysis, cross-functional teams, and the 5-Whys are also mentioned.

    For more in-depth webinar content on this topics, take a look at the second episode in our ‘Culture in Hygiene’ series.

    Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our Hygiene Experts below, or contact us at: 01473 461 800.

    Nine Factors to Consider When Choosing a Wireless Monitoring System

    Across the food and beverage industry, the benefits of wireless temperature monitoring are well-known. Innovative monitoring systems are proven to provide highly accurate, real-time temperature data, support food safety compliance, and cut costs of loading refrigerated food transportation. BRCGS standards also require the implementation and control of process monitoring to ensure that products are manufactured according to industry specifications.   

    These benefits have been applied across a wide range of industries, including:  

    • Food and beverage production 
    • Pharmaceutical and medical 
    • Hospitals and care 
    • Food service and hospitality 
    • Storage and logistics 
    • Laboratories and pharmacies  
    • Industry and manufacturing 
    • Food retail 

    However, there is much uncertainty around the best form of wireless monitoring system. At Klipspringer, our partner and customers frequently ask us for advice on which system to choose. Instead of simplistically recommending one of our systems, regardless of their specific temperature monitoring applications, we decided that providing all of the relevant information best enables them to make the right choice.  

    That’s why we wrote this article. Drawing on our two decades’ experience as industry leaders in modernised data logging, it is based on clips from a webinar we recently hosted in collaboration with Quorn Foods.

    The topic is nine key factors to consider before choosing a wireless monitoring system. Navigate the below menu to skip straight to the section most relevant to your needs…

    You can also watch the full webinar below:

    1) Parameters

    It’s difficult to order each factor by importance, but the parameter – or parameters – measured by the system you opt for is one of the most fundamental aspects.  

    As you begin your hunt for the perfect wireless monitoring system, one of the first questions you should ask yourself is: what exactly do I want to monitor?  

    If your answer is temperature only, most basic monitoring systems will cover your needs, even simple Wi-Fi loggers found on sites like Amazon. However, if your answer is more complex than just temperature, other options may be more suitable.  

    Do you, for example, want to measure both temperature and humidity (rH)? What about energy, concentration (ppm), or even door contact? As the number of measurables increases, so does the complexity of system required.  

    Here is a list of the most common measurable parameters: 

    • Temperature  
    • Humidity  
    • CO2 
    • Energy 
    • Pressure 
    • Concentration 
    • Door contact 
    • Data from advanced plant/engineering sensors 

    While there are countless systems that are custom-built for specific measurables, with advanced, high-end systems it is possible to measure and set up alarms for virtually any parameter.  

    2) Hardware

    Having established your required parameters, the next three factors all relate to the component setup of your system. Component setup is an essential early step in the monitoring system decision-making process, but it often gets overlooked.  

    Hardware is the first of these factors.  

    The biggest delineation in deciding your hardware is whether you require a physical base station, complete with display and sounds, or a non-physical system which operates entirely digitally.  

    Careful consideration of the working conditions your hardware will have to withstand will also be essential. For example, will your system’s sensors need to be waterproof? Does your system need to be equipped with heat-resistant casing? Or require particularly long-lasting battery life, as it needs to be placed in an inaccessible area?  

    Finally, appraising your probe options is another essential step. Will you need to measure air temperature or product temperature? If so, choose a probe that corresponds with those applications.  

    3) Data Storage Access

    Storage access is one of the most crucial, yet most misunderstood, factors to consider when choosing a wireless monitoring system. It is frequently conflated with sensor connection type – addressed below – but data storage access is its own independent category.  

    This category can be split into two options: network-based storage, and cloud-based storage. Many see network-based storage as more secure because it doesn’t rely on external servers. There are also no ongoing cloud licensing fees.  

    On the other hand, cloud-based storage offers access to data from any location, at any time. This makes it the ideal solution for those looking to implement wireless monitoring systems at multiple site locations, while accessing the data from one central location.  

    4) Sensor Connection Type

    Equally crucial is the type of sensor connector. The majority of wireless monitoring systems use one of three main types: 

    a) Wi-Fi 

    Wi-Fi-based sensor connectors are excellent, if your site has strong coverage throughout. However, in large chillers or freezers it is difficult and expensive to guarantee such Wi-Fi coverage. Because a password is required to gain access, it can result in a loss of sensor connection if this password is changed by IT. Higher battery consumption is also an issue with Wi-Fi-based systems.  

    b) Bluetooth 

    Bluetooth options require a reading device to be nearby at all times. This often constitutes a mobile phone with a downloaded data tracking app – a simple but reliable system, although battery life does drain significantly.  

    c) Radio Frequency 

    Radio frequency, or RF, is the strongest form of wireless data transfer. In most scenarios, radio systems use a frequency of 433mHz, which is used for longer-distance transmissions across large open spaces, or 868mHz, which is better suited for shorter distances with more obstructions, such as walls. When asked by customers, we are likeliest to recommend radio-based systems because of their stronger signal, lower battery consumption, and more reliable overall connectivity.  

    5) Installation

    As with any installation, the most pressing consideration is whether or not your site/s require professional support, or if you want to install the system yourself.  

    At Klipspringer, we pride ourselves on offering one of the fastest delivery turnaround times in the industry – the entire monitoring system is typically delivered within 2-3 days. For those requiring professional installation services, leading companies will send expert technicians on site. This process usually lasts between 3-4 weeks.  

    6) Alarm Type

    When looking out for the best monitoring solutions, here’s a tip: look out for the systems that issue alarms by the widest range of mediums.  

    Why? In the event of an alarm, speedy and decisive action is immediately required. This cannot happen if you are not instantly notified about the situation – hence the urgent need for alarms to be sent by phone call, SMS, email, and a variety of other methods, rather than riskily depending on just one.  

    7) Calibration

    There are three questions regarding calibration you should ask yourself before purchasing any wireless monitoring system.  

    Firstly, do you require UKAS calibration for audit requirements? If so, only UKAS accredited organisations are able to supply this service, which narrows your options to those upper-tier companies.  

    Secondly, will your system require periodic onsite recalibration? If so, take note of the costs involved in this process, how frequently your system will require recalibration, and whether your potential monitoring system supplier offers this service.  

    Thirdly, what is the location of the sensors? For example, if the sensors have to be mounted on the ceiling, this makes it altogether more difficult to access them for recalibration and servicing.  

    8) Cost

    Consult the below table for an outline of the potential costs of wireless monitoring systems, based on two generalised scenarios: 


    Scenario 1

    Scenario 2

    Size of facility



    No. of monitoring points




    Temperature only (-20 to 25°C)

    Multiple parameters; mainly high temperature, some humidity (rH)

    Accessibility to sensor position

    Easy access

    Easy access

    Onsite installation and annual service/calibration

    Not required

    Professional installation and ongoing technical support

    UKAS calibration

    Not required





    Pricing guide



    As seen above, differences in these factors can cause massive range in the price of a system. Read on to learn about the final factor to consider when choosing a wireless monitoring systems 

    9) Ongoing Support

    Last but far from least is ongoing support. In their haste to acquire the first system that crosses their path, people often overlook the vital importance of continual expert advice, long after any purchase of a wireless monitoring system has been made.  

    While sites like Amazon offer a wide range of logging systems, there is no on-site support available regarding calibration, software updates, or troubleshooting.  

    The current market is flooded with wireless monitoring systems. While many of these are perfectly acceptable, most are designed to cover multiple industries. At Klipspringer, we’ve spent years refining wireless monitoring systems to meet site requirements that are specifically focused on the food industry.  

    Listen below as Kenny Edwards, Quality Manager at Quorn Foods, outlines how wireless site monitoring provided tremendous value for him and his team.  

    Our knowledgeable, friendly team offer unequalled customer support, and our systems – such as the much-acclaimed WatchmanOne – excel at real-time monitoring across a range of parameters.  

    For any wireless monitoring system-related enquiries, feel free to contact our support team at: 01473 461 800. 

    Unpacking the BRCGS Standard for Food Safety Issue 9

    What the Latest Global Standard Food Safety Issue Means for Food Businesses 

    On August 1st, BRCGS released the latest issue of the Global Standard in Food Safety. This publication – known simply as BRCGS Issue 9 – stipulates the newly revised requirements for food manufacturers to achieve BRCGS certification. From equipment hygiene to process control, this article summarises and explains the key points of BRCGS Issue 9 as relevant to food businesses.  

    NOTE – this article uses descriptions and images of some Klipspringer products to provide tangible examples in advising how best to comply with BRCGS Issue 9. We are immensely proud of our work and its impact. However, we want to clarify that this article is primarily about helping food businesses to adjust to the new safety standards in the food and beverage industry, not self-promotion.   

    Adopted by 30,000 certified food manufacturers and suppliers in over 130 countries around the world, the BRCGS aims to standardise quality, safety, and operational criteria to ensure that manufacturers fulfil their legal obligations and provide protection for the end consumer. It was first published in 1998, as British retailers sought to raise the bar of industry hygiene and compliance standards. While it is not a legal requirement in the UK, most large food retail brands and foodservice companies demand that their suppliers are BRCGS-certified. 

    BRCGS Issue 9 was released four years on from its predecessor, BRCGS Issue 8, which was published on August 1st, 2018. The key changes between these two issues are informed by the most frequently occurring non-conformities throughout 2021. 

    The below table lists eight non-conformities in order of commonality:


    Non-Conformity Details


    Premises & equipment hygiene


    Doors - both internal & external


    Equipment construction & maintenance

    Chemical control


    Walls - condition & cleaning


    Hazard identification


    Risk assessment for safe storage of ingredients


    Food safety culture plan

    Continue reading for guidance on how food businesses can implement strategies, policies, and procedures to get ahead of the food compliance curve before Issue 9 becomes fully auditable from February 1st, 2023.

    Key Area #1 - Culture

    BRCGS Issue 9 has placed a strong onus on the role of senior management in committing to continual improvement. As seen in Clause 1.1.2, BRCGS Issue 9 contains a far more tangible focus on the power of top-down company culture in perpetuating food safety standards 

    Clause 1.1.2 

    Clause 1.1 (‘Senior Management Commitment and Continual Improvement’) is one of the BRCGS’s twelve ‘fundamental’ requirements to achieve certification against the new issue. Within this, Clause 1.1.2 provides a specific list of activity design features needed to enact this positive culture change.  

    These include activities such as open commnication on product safety, training, feedback from employees, required behaviours to sustain and improve product safety processes, a plan indicating how these activities will be carried out, and a review of their effectivness.

    Of particular interest are the specification for employee feedback – an invaluable, if sometimes overlooked activity – as well as an action plan involving processes, measurements, and timelines. As Issue 8 made no reference to review, or frequency of review, requiring this plan to be reviewed and updated on a yearly basis is also new to BRCGS Issue 9.  

    Key Area #2 - Equipment

    Given its position as the first and third most common type of non-conformity on the above list, equipment compliance is logically one of the predominant focal points of BRCGS Issue 9. This can be seen across the range of clauses explained below.  

    Clause 4.6.1 

    In Clause 4.6.1, there is far more detailed guidance on sites’ responsibilities regarding equipment management than in Issue 8. This includes a documented purchase specification, as well as any relevant legislation, food contact approved requirements, and details of intended use of the equipment.

    To this end, it will be invaluable to have a reliable place to keep track of production and hygiene utensils used on site, equipment verification schedules, calibration due dates, and warranty lengths. An example is our Calibration, Audit and Product Certificate Portal, which allows users to… 

    • View and download compliance certificates 
    • Manage technical equipment 
    • Track calibration due dates 
    • Download calibration certificates 

     …therefore maintaining compliance with the final part of Clause 4.6.1, which states that ‘suppliers should provide evidence that the equipment meets these site requirements prior to supply’.  

    Clause 4.6.2 

    A common cause of audit non-conformances is contamination – whether it be microbiological, allergenic, or foreign body. Often, these various forms of contamination take hold in the hidden crevices and small parts of food manufacturing or cleaning equipment, hence BRCGS Issue 9’s requirement for ‘the use of correct seals, impervious surfaces, or smooth welds and joints’.  

    In light of this, it is strongly recommended that equipment is chosen based on risk minimisation. Shadow boards offer a fitting example. As an increasingly popular hygiene management and storage solution across the food industry, shadow boards can be constructed to minimise cross-contamination – but only when designed with food safety in mind.  

    Specifically, this means minimal welds, joints, or hidden crevices behind the board. One solution is a through-board hook system, which keeps shadow boards hygienic, easy to clean, and free of any foreign body risks. Another is a magnetic mounting option, which allows for convenient and regular cleaning behind the board.  


    This particular clause emphasises the pressing need for portable handheld equipment to be designed with a focus on prevention. At factory or production sites, pens are the most commonly found handheld utensil, and are consequently the cause of many foreign body contamination non-conformities due to their clips, springs, and other small, breakable parts.  

    Practices a site may consider reviewing include the exclusion of non-approved items and restriction of site-issued equipment. Furthermore, sites should ensure any such portable handheld equipment items are designed without small external parts, as well as being detectable by detection equipment (metal detectors, X-ray etc), or are only used in areas where contamination is specifically prevented.

    Organisations with the highest priority on compliance mandate the use of pens which, first and foremost, prevent foreign body contamination (through shatterproof pens made of durable materials, with no metal springs), and – as a last resort – are detectable by x-rays and metal detectors.  

    Key Area #3 - Product Control

    Ensuring a safe, consistent, and contaminant-free product is the backbone of any food business. While product control doesn’t tend to rank high on lists of most frequent non-conformances, when it does appear, it often has disastrous consequences, both to the safety of consumers, and the reputation of brands.   

    Clause 5.3.4 

    Clause 5.3 (‘Management of Allergens’) is another of the BRCGS’s twelve ‘fundamental’ requirements to achieve certification against the new issue. Within this, Clause 5.3.4 outlines various procedures for carrying out effective management of allergenic materials.  

    Broadly, this means minimising the risk of allergen contamination and cross-contact by having a system or process for managing allergenic materials, and which as a baseline meets legal labelling requirements.

    To a greater extent, this clause suggests segregating allergen-containing materials during storage, processing, and packing, as well as having on-site a set of separated, identified utensils for dealing with these materials.  

    What is the best way of identifying these utensils by allergen?  

    A compelling solution is colour-coding. Whether it be production utensils or brushware; squeegees or storage containers, using sharp, vibrant colours to clearly delineate equipment by its purpose is a reliable way of preventing allergenic cross-contamination. With stronger colours, compliance failures can be easily spotted, which makes the management of allergen segregation easier.  

    See the below table for how colour-coded equipment might be implemented.   


    Assigned Equipment Colour













    Another popular method of managing allergens is physical segregation using screens, curtains, or covers. Hygienically designed for food industry environments, these segregators prevent cross-contamination, as well as reducing production downtime and eliminating unnecessary single-use plastics.  

    Clause 5.9.1 

    Animal primary conversion is an entirely new section included under BRCGS Issue 9. It states the importance of implementing specific controls to keep food safe, authentic, and legal during the conversion process – above all using risk assessment results to inform testing procedures and raw material acceptance. It states the company shall undertake a risk assessment for potential prohibited substances, including pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicines, heavy metals and pesticides.

    Key Area #4 - Process Control

    As another of the BRCGS’s new ‘fundamental’ requirements, process control is essential for ensuring full compliance with a HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points) or food safety plan. For maximum effectiveness, it usually involves documentation and systematisation of production procedures to optimise product quality, safety, and legality.  

    Clause 6.1.3  

    In Clause 6.1.3, the standard outlines the importance of process monitoring for ensuring products are manufactured within the required process specification. In relation to this, wireless monitoring systems are proven to provide highly accurate, real-time temperature data, support food safety compliance, and cut costs of loading refrigerated food transportation. Clause 6.1.3 includes temperature, time, pressure, and chemical properties as some examples of key parameters to measure. Leading wireless monitoring systems will typically have the capability to also measure:

    • Humidity  
    • CO2 
    • Energy 
    • Concentration
    • Door contact 
    • Data from advanced plant/engineering sensors 

    For more information, watch clips from a webinar we hosted recently on the factors to consider when choosing a wireless monitoring system. Drawing on decades of industry experience, our team dissect nine relevant factors – from the system’s hardware to its data storage access.  


    Clause 6.1.4 

    Clause 6.1.4 directly addresses another of these factors: the type of alarm used by monitoring systems. A good tip is to look out for the systems that issue alarms by the widest range of mediums, so you can adapt the system to best suit your site or team.


    In the event of an alarm – whether it be a product quality issue or a malfunctioning chiller unit – speedy and decisive action is essential. This cannot happen without being instantly notified about the situation, which highlights the urgent need for alarms to be sent by a variety of methods (e.g. phone call, SMS, email) rather than riskily depending on just one. Clause 6.1.4 also includes a requirement to routinely check that the alarm and alert system is working correctly.

    Clause 6.4.2 

    Instrumentation devices which measure a specific parameter – the most common being temperature-measuring probe thermometers – must in turn be checked for accuracy and recalibrated.  

    BRCGS Issue 9 strongly emphasises the need for this checking process to adhere to a recognised national or international standard. In the UK, the most credible recognised standard is a UKAS calibration certificate, which distinguishes the industry’s leading measuring devices from the satisfactory.  

    Consider re-evaluating outdated approaches to accuracy checks of measuring devices. This is particularly relevant to thermometers; many companies still use the traditional ice or boiling water check, without realising that there are far more innovative methods which remove all subjectivity from checks, and save quality assurance teams hours each month.  

    This article has deconstructed the BRCCG’s latest standard in food safety into four key areas and nine standout clauses, explaining their ramifications – and providing tangible solutions – for food businesses.  

    If you’d like to take a look at the BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9 in full, you can head to this webpage and select ‘Free PDF’ on the right-hand side for a free copy.

    At Klipspringer, we’ve specialised in food safety and audit compliance for more than twenty years. As a BRCGS partner organisation, we work with the smallest artisan producers to the largest food producers and manufacturers, including the likes of Whitbread, McDonalds, Kerry, Hovis, and Greggs.  

    Whatever your situation, our knowledgeable team are on hand to help. Feel free to contact us by phone at 01473 461 800, or book an online meeting via the form below: 


    BRCGS (2022a) Global Standard Food Safety Issue 9. Available at: 

    BRCGS (2022b) Food Safety Issue 9 Interpretation Guideline. Available as purchase.  

    High Speed Training (2020) Our Guide to Understanding BRCGS. Available at: 

    Techni-K (2022) BRCGS Food Safety Issue 9. Available at: 

    EHOs and Food Safety Officers: Choosing the Right Equipment

    Klipspringer have been privileged to support UK local authorities’ Food Safety Inspectors and Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) for many years.

    With the vital role of enforcing hygiene and health legislation, there is no room for compromise in the standards that must be worked to. Klipspringer fully recognises this requirement and, through an unwavering commitment to both accuracy and reliability, enjoys an ongoing, solid partnership with EHOs across the UK and Ireland.

    To assist with maintaining the necessary compliance standards, this page details some of Klipspringer’s most popular products and services for EHOs, auditors and inspectors. We can guarantee that these will also be coupled with a first-class customer experience from our friendly, professional support team – standard setting starts here!

    – Rapid 2-3 working day turnaround with free equipment returns service

    – Certified to UKAS-accredited national standards
    – Wide range of instruments including any brand and model of thermometer, humidity meter, loggers and reference weights

    – Free reminder service

    View calibration optionsDownload your service & calibration return form

    – Quickly verify probe and infrared thermometers to a UKAS traceable standard.

    – Perfect for daily/weekly checks – start the day with the full confidence that your equipment is functioning correctly!

    – Faster and safer than traditional methods, saving valuable time and money.

    Find out more

    – 2-part reference thermometer for rapid infrared surface checks, complete with a folding probe for further investigation when required

    – Available for same-day dispatch, with or without calibration certification

    “We have chosen to equip all of our team with this unit, not only because it is small and compact, but it’s also much quicker and safer for our EHO’s to use.  The probe can simply be folded in and out of the unit for a core temperature, whilst the infrared part provides an instant reading without risking cross-contamination from touching different foods.” – Westminster City Council 


    – Top of the range thermometer, entirely suited for food contact and widely accepted as the standard for manufacturers, fast food outlets and inspectors.

    – UKAS-calibrated waterproof unit with penetration probe, also supplied with protective carry case and wipes

    – Available for same-day despatch, with or without UKAS calibration certification

    View kit details

    – Stainless steel reference weights to M1 standard

    – Each weight supplied in serial-numbered case for storage

    – Initial and ongoing UKAS calibration service available

    View options and pricing

    – The monitor provides an accurate and objective indication of oil quality, avoiding significant health risks and poor product quality arising from the over-use of cooking oil for fried food.

    – Reduces food oil waste by up to 52%.

    View more details