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Health & Safety Solutions for Care Service Managers

Thursday, 11 April 2013 21:33:02 Europe/London

TM Electronics are UK experts in temperature testing and monitoring, supplying digital thermometers and probes to hospitals, care homes, local authorities and housing associations. “Our focus is on ensuring safe temperatures in all aspects of day-to-day care service management,” explains MD, Tom Sensier. “From food storage and delivery to bathing, room temperatures and most importantly, infection control – esepecially legionella monitoring.”

Food Safety

The health and age of people living in care service settings makes them much more vulnerable to hazards like food-born bacteria, and many of these can be simply prevented just by storing and cooking foods at the correct temperature. Of course, most establishments will already be using food thermometers in their kitchens but TM Electronics warns that when it comes to sourcing thermometers, managers cannot afford to cut corners. The storage temperature of chilled food is especially critical - food safety guidelines recommend that all food thermometers have an accuracy of +/- 0.5 degrees C. “A cheaply made, low-accuracy thermometer can lead to false results and the risk of residents consuming unsafe food,” Tom Sensier explains. “Food-safe thermometers with this level of accuracy may be slightly more expensive but anything less could be a false economy with devastating results.”

Bathing and room temperatures

These are areas usually associated with comfort but which can also lead to significant risks. Elderly people or those with specific medical conditions or disabilities can be prone to scalding from hot water when bathing, and so careful monitoring of bath temperature is crucial. And of course, maintaining comfortable, even room temperatures is also important not just for comfort but for people whose immune system is lowered or who are recovering from illness.

 Fighting infection

Lastly, managers must consider the vulnerability of their clients to the less common – though potentially deadly – threat of Legionnaires’ disease, in which safe water temperature is considered one of the first-line defences. The HSA specifically cite elderly and infirm people and those with suppressed immune systems as a high-risk group and so for ACOP L8 Compliance, even the smallest of nursing and care homes must have a risk assessment in place, together with a rigorous protocol of regular safety checks.

The legislation states that to prevent the spread of the water-borne legionella bacteria, hot water should be stored above 60°C and distributed above 50°C, and that cold water should be distributed below 20°C. The necessary safety checks involve regular monitoring of pipe and water temperature in water tanks and pipes as well as running water from taps and showers. This is a much less onerous task for managers with accurate thermometers in place and a fast, streamlined method of recording.

 Expert advice

Whatever operational choices are made, TM Electronics is urging care service managers to make sure they get informed advice when choosing thermometers. Expert solutions are available for a wide range of temperature issues: waterproof thermometers and dishwasher-safe food probes in the kitchen; handy temperature kits for legionella testing and bath care, and data loggers for room temperature and humidity. TM Electronics has developed a range of robust, fast-response thermometers and sensors specifically designed for any and all of these jobs. Many are in easy-to-use kit form for speed and convenience, and all are made to high UK manufacturing standards. And taking into account European HACCP legislation on record keeping protocols, TME have pioneered new options for the paperless recording and analysis of temperatures as well.

Innovation

Luckily for care managers, even the most innovative equipment doesn’t have to be expensive. Look out for some really useful ideas like TME’s food simulant probe which actually mimics the temperature of stored food to reduce spoilage; or its revolutionary Bluetooth logging thermometer which use barcodes to record not only temperature but also the unique identity of any location, product, appliance or person being monitored – quite an asset considering the sheer number of routine tests required day to day.

Value for money

TM Electronics has not lost sight of the fact that care service providers are working in a very tough economic climate – an experience with which Tom Sensier has every sympathy, having launched his company in the middle of a recession over 20 years ago. “At TME we understand that to achieve safer temperatures in the care industry, temperature testing solutions must offer real value for money. That means using fast-response, accurate thermometers that are made well and will last you a long time. And that’s exactly what we do.”

 Information about TM Electronics and its products – including its industry-unique Thermometer for Life Scheme – can be obtained by contacting the Sales Office on 01903 700651 sales@tmethermometers.com

 

 

 

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