Skin Temperature Screening: Keeping Illness Out of Food and Drink Manufacturing in the Run Up to Christmas

World-leading temperature monitoring expert, AMETEK Land, launched a new temperature screening system earlier this year, which could help prevent the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 throughout food production and preparation premises and beyond.

The VIRALERT 3 system, which has been developed over 10 years by LAND’s experts, provides real-time infrared thermal imaging from a safe social distance, scanning for elevated temperatures that could indicate infection.

Temperature screening systems have become an essential addition to the existing infrastructure of workplaces and locations which need to ensure the safety of personnel entering the building.

Aside from healthcare facilities, food and drink manufacturing remains one of the most important sectors for both the economy and the welfare of the nation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The UK is estimated to have around 20,000 food and drink manufacturers which contribute around £28 billion to the economy.

In May it was reported that three UK meat processing workers who had tested positive for the virus had sadly died. A report published in The Guardian newspaper in June 2020 claimed there had been 450 cases of COVID-19 reported at UK food processors. And in August the Food Standards Authority (FSA) revealed there were at least 40 active outbreaks at food processing plants in the UK. Further outbreaks have been reported at food manufacturers during October.

As Christmas approaches, along with the traditional flu season, could installing temperature screening systems help manufacturers to keep illness out of their workplaces?

World-leading temperature monitoring experts at AMETEK Land, based near Sheffield in Yorkshire, believe they could, with the right equipment in place.

“VIRALERT 3 is the first of its kind, providing a camera and a temperature-controlled reference source on a single mounting as well as automatic face detection, taking a reading that’s accurate to within 0.5 degrees C in just two seconds,” explained Chris Leonard, Global VIRALERT Lead.

“It provides an effective solution for manufacturing plants and factories, scanning people on entry without causing unnecessary delays. The automated operation allows employees and site visitors to move quickly into the workplace without any contact.”

The VIRALERT 3 builds on AMETEK Land’s proven expertise in temperature technology. The company has been developing high-accuracy infrared measurement instruments since 1947 and has been creating human body temperature screening systems since responding to the SARS outbreak of 2003.