Foods cooked, stored and held at the proper temperatures do not allow bacteria to grow.  If bacteria do not grow, then people who eat the food will not get food borne illness.  Proper use of a thermometer can help assure that the food prepared in your kitchen is safe to eat.  You have a food temperature log maintained in your kitchen, but have you ever wondered if the temperatures are accurate?  Thermometer calibration is imperative in assuring an accurate temperature reading.

Slush method for calibrating a bi- metallic thermometer:

  • Fill an insulated container, such as a foam cup, with a 50/50 ice and water mix.
  • Allow time for the mixture to reach 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) temperature.
  • Insert the bi-metallic stemmed thermometer into the center of the cup, away from the sides and bottom.  Do not let the stem touch the sides of the cup.
  • Hold thermometer until the temperature stabilizes and record the temperature.
  • Repeat two times to verify the temperature reading.
  • If the temperature is not 32 degrees F (0 degrees C), adjust the calibration nut located under the top of the thermometer to adjust the temperature to 32 degrees F (0 degrees C).
  • Calibrate regularly, daily if possible.

Review the above procedure with your staff today to assure good food handling practice, accurate temperatures and safe food.


At Nutrition Care Systems, Inc, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive tools to the LTC industry.  If you’re in need of other policies and procedures for LTC, please contact us.