Working together for more food safety: RUNWAY digital uses Track and Trace sensor technology

RUNWAY digital uses Bosch Track and Trace to measure temperature and to monitor refrigeration equipment in supermarkets, restaurants, and hotels. The temperature sensors send real-time temperature data to the “HACCP24” system.

Challenges

Supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and other food related industries face a major challenge. According to food hygiene regulations, they are required to follow and to document hygiene measures, such as constant temperatures in the cooling process. This documentation is still performed manually in many companies – and therefore is error-prone and time-consuming. If refrigeration equipment does not function properly or fails unnoticed, companies face high costs. Worst case scenario, spoiled food can lead to health problems for consumers and conflicts with health authorities.

Solution

The startup company RUNWAY digital has developed "HACCP24", a system that documents compliance with temperatures and hygiene measures. The system not only provides a better overview and reduces paperwork; Bosch Track and Trace sensor technology also enables continuous monitoring of freezers, service counters, refrigerators, and cold storage cells. The sensors transmit data via Bluetooth to a nearby gateway, which delivers the data to the cloud via mobile network and then directly to the "HACCP24" system. The information is visible to all relevant employees and stored in a legally secure manner. A deviation of the temperature from the expected interval is immediately forwarded to the employees, who can correct the error and prevent food waste. Temporary failures of refrigeration equipment are also identified and issues can be resolved before a complete failure occurs.

Advantages

The solution from Bosch Track and Trace offers easy installation and data transmission via mobile network thanks to its plug-and-play concept. It does not require access to the heterogeneous and sometimes unstable WiFi network of the supermarkets and hotels. Sensors and gateways from Bosch Track and Trace are highly reliable. Bluetooth® Low Energy technology ensures regular data transmission – which is especially important for food safety. Thanks to its plug-and-play concept, businesses can also install sensors and gateways themselves, thus saving costs and time. On-site installation takes only a few hours.

"A major benefit of Track and Trace is that our customers can install both temperature sensors and gateways themselves. This eliminates the cost of an on-site visit by a technician, and businesses can start monitoring their cooling equipment immediately."
Oliver Krause Managing Director RUNWAY digital

Focus on food safety

Not only frozen fish, fresh minced meat and chopped fruit are particularly at risk from external influences such as temperature fluctuations on their way to the end consumers. The food hygiene regulations (European Law) defines the hygiene measures that food processing companies must observe throughout Europe to protect consumers from contaminated food. At the same time, its constant documentation and temperature measurement requirements pose great challenges. This is important for cooling devices: without a digital system, employees have to measure and document the temperature of all refrigeration and freezer units daily. This data must be available in retrospect for several years, in case of an inspection by the health authorities. Accurate measurement is also important for smooth operation. If a deviation is detected but not communicated, deviations in the cold chain and failures of cooling units can occur. Rapid correction is particularly important for food since the goods will have to be discarded in case of a failure. The temperature sensors of Track and Trace forward deviations to the “HACCP24” system. End consumers are saved from buying possibly spoiled food, while the information path is shortened, and costs can be saved.

“HACCP24” coordinates compliance with hygiene measures with the help of individual checklists. Employees can also document and report damaged deliveries and other inconsistencies. In addition, all data is stored in a legally secure manner and can be forwarded to health authorities either directly or via reports.

Reliable temperature measurement thanks to Track and Trace

Continuous temperature control is an important measure to guarantee and prove compliance with the cooling chain. RUNWAY digital recognized the potential of temperature sensor technology in this industry already six years ago, and tested systems with external partners. In most cases, problems arose with data transmission, as many sensors send their data using Wi-Fi, which is not yet used in all supermarkets. Moreover, the tested temperature sensors and gateways were not reliable enough. In addition, the installation of many of the alternative providers proved to be time-consuming.

The cooperation between the two companies started almost 2 years ago. The sensors and gateways from the tracking specialist proved to be the perfect solution for “HACCP24”. “The temperature sensor technology from Track and Trace sends data to our system via Bluetooth and mobile networks, making it highly reliable,” Oliver Krause explains. “The fact that customers can install both temperature sensors and gateways themselves is also a major advantage.” The Track and Trace sensors are easy to mount in the cooling unit. Once installed, they send temperature data to a nearby gateway.

Fully automatic data backup and analysis options

Fully automated temperature measurement is an essential part of “HACCP24”. In addition, companies that are already using the system for their hygiene management can conveniently integrate the temperature sensors into their operations. Not only do the sensors automatically transmit their data; the system also detects deviations from a temperature range defined by the customer. In this case, those responsible are informed by alerts. All temperature data is stored for years on a cloud server and can be retrieved in the event of health authority inspections. Alternatively, companies can grant access to the system to the responsible employee of the public health department. The latter can then access data directly, without the need for an on-site visit. “A fully automated system like “HACCP24” saves businesses time and eliminates manual measurement errors, Oliver Krause says.

Potential for new systems

Apart from retail stores, RUNWAY digital’s “HACCP24” system is also used in restaurants and hotels to track the food cooling chain. Moreover, the solution is also used in governmental buildings such as the office of the Federal President of Germany. And it has even more potential: “We are currently working on the possibility of measuring and evaluating temperatures in hot environments such as industrial dishwashers,” explains Oliver Krause. “We are pleased to have an innovative partner like Bosch at our side for such projects.” Track and Trace is testing temperature sensors with a connector cable that is heat and humidity resistant.

 

Stefan Müller, Global Senior Project Manager Track and Trace, is also convinced of the creative collaboration: “The joint project with RUNWAY digital offers us an exciting system area beyond logistics. Together with RUNWAY digital, we can expand the potential of temperature measurement with our sensors and offer more diverse solutions.”