Refrigerator Temperature - Patient Care Food Storage

What is the requirement or standard that addresses thermometers or temperature logs for refrigerators or freezers used for food storage?

The Joint Commission does not specifically require temperature logs for refrigerators and freezers used for food storage. Food and nutrition products are stored under proper conditions of sanitation, temperature, light, moisture, ventilation, and security. Depending on the accreditation program, it may be addressed at PC.02.02.03 or in CTS.04.03.33. These variables must be monitored to assure proper storage. One means of compliance could be a digital minimum/maximum thermometer with a built in alarm to monitor the temperature of the refrigerator/freezer. With this device if the temperature goes outside the set range an alarm will sound. As a result daily monitoring by staff would not need to occur. Periodic logging of temperatures where the appropriate range of compliant temperatures is identified, and noting needed corrective action on the log is another available alternative. Internal refrigerator temperature monitoring devices with remote alarming notification capability is also available. Staff would need to demonstrate competence with whatever method is used. Selected equipment must be properly maintained.

Specific to expiration dating and discarding unused food, organizations are expected to comply with the product manufacturer's guidelines for safe storage as well as applicable law/regulation that may be defined by your local authority having jurisdiction (i.e., local or state health department, etc.).
Last updated on February 21, 2018
Manual: Laboratory
Chapter: Environment of Care EC

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