Understanding IP Ratings

Food safety is critical and can feel very complicated. Having to choose what sanitizer to use, how to dilute it, how often to clean surfaces, when to dispose of used cooking oil etc. Keeping a well-run, food-safe preparation area is A-Game.

HACCP processes make sure you are aligned with food safety requirements, and it is no easy task jumping through hoops if audits are part of your area of maintenance. In general, everyone in the food industry needs to make sure that the food that is prepared for consumption is safe.

This is where IP Ratings come into play. Thermometers and scales have a protective casing that protects the internal mechanics against exposure to solids and liquids, and this casing has an IP Rating. Using these items in an environment where dust or water could damage electronic components, a sealed enclosure is used to prevent such ingress and safe house the electronics.

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The letter IP stands for “Ingress Protection”, and the numbers following classify the degree of protection provided against the exposure to solids and liquids. Following the letters are two digits and an optional letter. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users with more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.

First Digit: Solids

The first digit indicates the level of protection that the enclosure provides against access to hazardous parts (e.g., electrical conductors, moving parts) and the ingress of solid foreign objects.

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Second Digit: Liquids

Protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against harmful ingress of water.

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The Thermapen 1 food thermometer has a rating of IP67, which indicates total dust ingress protection and it is waterproof up to 1 meter.

IP 67 breakdown image

Now that you have insight into how relevant IP Rating is for your thermometers and scales, you can make sure your instruments are of top quality.

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