Service Q&A: Bob Gilpatrick, director of service, Hagar Restaurant Service, Tulsa, Okla.

FE&S: Do thermometers require service or maintenance?

BG: Thermometers are replacement items since they have no moving parts, and even the electronic types are reasonably priced. For this reason, there is typically no service needed for these tools.

FE&S: Is there ever a situation where a service agent would be called to check a thermometer?

BG: We would get involved when someone says equipment temperatures are being consistently measured outside of the food-safe guidelines. In this case, we’d check to see if it’s a mechanical issue or something that needs cleaning.

FE&S: What do operators need to know about calibrating thermometers?

BG: Some manufacturers recommend thermometers be calibrated by a service agent, while others provide
information for operators to do this task themselves. With some types, it’s as simple as dipping the thermometer tip in a cup of ice water. Electronic thermometers are handy to have and react quickly but can easily get out of calibration.

HACCP Temperature Requirements

Receiving deliveries and storage:

  • Refrigerated foods: 41 degrees F or cooler
  • Frozen foods: 0 degrees F or colder


  • Refrigerated cold foods in pantries and on buffets:
    41 degrees F or less
  • Cold food holding: 6 to 10 degrees F
  • Hot food in buffets or steam tables: 135 degrees F or higher
  • Reheating food: Temperatures must reach 165 degrees F or higher within two hours and be held for
    15 seconds, then held at 135 degrees F.
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