Use Case: Deli and Sandwich Shop
A local deli offers fresh handmade sandwiches and a variety of meats from local farmers. Their claim, and a reason behind their local fanbase, is that they offer only the freshest local ingredients. However, to keep their stock as fresh as they advertise, the staff has to keep all their stock at very specific, controlled temperatures. From the display counter to the refrigerator units in the back, the staff is kept busy with regular temperature checks and manually logging their readings.
Unfortunately, taking all this time to verify and log temperatures is costly when added up, and it keeps staff from more important tasks, like helping customers.
In short, for food safety and to maintain quality, the deli staff have to complete regular temperature checks throughout the day. Manually checking and logging temperatures takes time, and adds up for the business owner. Not only that, customers are left waiting while staff have to go to cold storage units to check temperatures. The deli owner is also concerned about the accuracy of manual readings, knowing that human error does occur.
An automatic temperature logger- the NEO 1. The NEO is a highly accurate, zero maintenance, temperature and humidity sensor. Regular thermometers and hygrometers still need a staff member to check their readings, the NEO sensors do not. Instead, the deli owner sets each sensor to transmit readings every hour. These readings are then automatically uploaded to the iMatrix Cloud, and accessed through the deli owner’s iMatrix account.
For back of house storage, such as the refrigerators with extra stock, the deli owner uses NEO 1 sensors, and installs one sensor in each unit. However, for the display counter, the deli owner chooses to use the NEO P sensors, which include all of the same features and capabilities, but also include a wired probe extension. This allows the sensor to take readings, without keeping the entire sensor, although small, in the refrigerated display case.
Why the NEO sensors?
The deli uses NEO sensors as a solution for recording and monitoring temperatures, reducing the burden of temperature checks on staff, and allowing greater control of the conditions in which their stock is kept.
Flexible temperature settings
Whether it’s meat, produce, condiments, or bread, each type of product needs to be kept at specific temperatures to maintain freshness. With both the NEO 1 and the NEO P, the deli owner can set optimal temperature ranges for each device depending on the stock it’s placed with. The deli owner can also determine how much leniency each temperature range has (i.e., bread can reach 2 degrees above or below optimal levels, while dairy products can only vary by one degree).
Alerts that save stock
After setting the ideal temperature ranges for each sensor, the deli can also enable alerts from the NEO sensors. Whenever a sensor takes a reading, it also makes sure that temperature reading falls within the set range of acceptable conditions. For example, if that reading shows that the cold storage for meat is 4 degrees above the set range, the deli owner (or designated staff or managers) will receive an alert notifying them which unit is outside of acceptable levels.
Sensitive food products have a very limited time in which it’s safe to store them at room temperature. Even an hourly reading allows the deli enough time to correct issues with temperature storage and thus save their stock from spoilage. Outside of business hours, staff isn’t there to monitor temperatures, but the NEO takes care of that, and sends alerts when there’s a problem.
Instant, effortless deployment
Another reason the deli owner chose the NEO sensors is that they’re easy to use, set up, and install. Each NEO sensor takes only minutes or less to install, add to the iMatrix account, and begin taking readings. In fact, the sensors can be added via the mobile application in guest mode, so the deli owner can start right away- and create their iMatrix account later.
The easiest way to add a sensor with the app is simply by scanning the QR code, provided on the back of the device. However, the system is flexible, and sensors can also be added with the network and serial number, also on the back of the device.
Comprehensive record keeping
For regulatory agencies, food temperatures do need to be checked and recorded at a set frequency throughout the day. However, as many restaurateurs know, this guideline is often far less than is actually necessary to prevent food waste, especially with equipment issues. As soon as a sensor takes a reading, the temperature is uploaded and recorded in the iMatrix Cloud system.
Upon logging into their account, the deli owner can see a comprehensive log of all temperature and humidity readings from the sensors on their account. This is useful in many instances, especially when presenting temperature logs in an inspection, and making sure that all refrigerator units are working as they should.