Food temperature measuring devices must be calibrated in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications as often as necessary to ensure their accuracy. Additionally, a record log should be kept of your thermometer calibrations.
If a thermometer does not have specific instructions for calibration, the following methods may be used.
Ice Point Method
- Fill a large container with ice, preferably crushed if you have it. Add clean tap water until the container is full. Stir ice water mixture.
- Put the thermometer probe into the ice water so that the sensing area, usually about an inch up on a bimetallic thermometer, is completely submerged. Don’t let the probe touch the sides or bottom of the container. Wait 30 seconds, or until the temperature indicator stops moving.
- On bimetallics, hold the calibration nut on the underside of the dial head securely with a wrench- or the tool attached to the sheath-and rotate the dial head until the thermometer reads 32°F (0°C).
Boiling Point Method
- Bring clean tap water to a boil in a deep pan.
- Put the thermometer probe into the boiling water so that the sensing area is completely submerged. Again, don’t let probes touch the sides or bottom of the pan. Wait 30 seconds, or until the temperature indicator stops moving.
- On bimetallics, hold the calibration nut on the underside of the dial head securely with a wrench or tool attached to the sheath and rotate the dial head until the thermometer reads 212°F (100°C) or the appropriate boiling point for your elevation.
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