QA 16/01_B

Do you check your food scales?

Your food scales are an important part of your business processes, with most businesses employing external experts or have the correct tools to check the calibration is correct.  But do you check if they are level.  Incorrectly levelled food scales can have an adverse effect on the accuracy of reading made during weighing operations.

Most devices have some type of spirit bubble or levelling device, if not a spirit level can be easily purchased from your local hardware store.  The primary aim of this process is to check that all of your weighing scales are levelled.

  1. Print a list of the scales you have in the business. This is also a good opportunity to check the list is current.
  2. Visually inspect each scale to see if it is levelled.
  3. Record your results.
  4. Were all of your scales level? Take corrective action if required.

How to level your scales

Your scales should have adjustable rubber feet or similar that can be adjusted to ensure that they are level.  Food scales should not be levelled by ‘chocking’ with a folded piece of cardboard, plastic or other items, though achieving the desired outcome temporarily, it could cause alternative problems.  It is best to do it the right way, remove the scales and get them replaced or fixed, if you are unsure on how to progress contact the manufacturer.

It may not seem an important food safety step, but food scales that are not level or are incorrectly balanced can cause errors in the actual weight of the item you are weighing.  When it comes to weight out ingredients or finished product, there may be a risk of regulatory non compliance with the weight labelled on the packaged product.

Frequency of checks

The levelling of scales should be part of your pre-shift or pre-operational checks.  Ideally, at the same time you are performing your daily calibration checks.  As with any type of check, make sure that you have it recorded.

Does your business check that your scales are levelled and calibrated as part of your pre-operational checksIf your business needs any assistance with this particular food safety issue or any other food safety issue, contact Brismark Business Services on 3915 4234 or [email protected].

Source: HACCP Mentor, 26 May 2015