Timestrip UK Launch Longer Breach Time & Temperature Indicator For The Pharmaceutical Industry

Timestrip UK Launch Longer Breach Time & Temperature Indicator For The Pharmaceutical Industry

Timestrip UK Ltd have expanded their range to include their latest Timestrip PLUS™ 10° threshold indicator with a 7-day run-out/recording window. This specific indicator is meeting the demand within the pharmaceutical industry and the regulations and compliance that come with transportation and storage. With Timestrip’s latest 10° 7 day offering, they are reaching out further within the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare industry and ensuring their high tech but low cost devices are evolving with the relevant advances in the industries.

Timestrip design and manufacture innovative, irreversible time and temperature indicators for a range of industries from Food to Pharmaceutical. Their Timestrip® PLUS range is predominantly used across the Healthcare, Life sciences and Pharmaceutical arena. Currently, the Timestrip PLUS™ range covers temperature thresholds from -20°C up to 38°C and generally display a run-out window of any temperature breach for 8, 12 or 48 hours.

7DayPhotoCombining time & temperature monitoring patented technology, which involves controlled rate lateral diffusion of liquids through the device membrane once activated. If a breach occurs, the ‘smart’ indicators will visually indicate how long a product has been exposed to higher temperatures.

For a free sample of the new 10° 7 day indicator, or to place an order click here

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Restaurants and seafood cold chain monitoring: trust, experience and correct protocols

Maintaining a correct cold chain is essential in managing the supply of seafood products in order to avoid contamination and food poisoning, especially from C Botulism. For restaurants and retailers, who are towards the end of a typical cold chain, ensuring this has occurred prior to delivery is a particular concern. Failure in this area can have dire consequences, both in cost and PR terms, and for consumers, they can be extremely dangerous and in some cases lethal.

tsplus_seafoodIn June for instance, the FDA website published an alert about a Florida-based supplier of tuna products that was obliged to initiate a US-wide product recall due to suspected C Botulism contamination of its product.

The manager of one major London restaurant says that the main ways his establishment monitors the quality of the seafood it orders are visual and olfactory inspection of the product upon receipt and the use of trusted suppliers that have the correct certification. The products are also checked upon receipt with temperature probes.

He says that a contaminated seafood product will “not look right”, that it will look “sweaty” and for fish as opposed to shellfish, that the eyes of fish that have “gone off” will look “dead looking”.

He also says that contaminated fish will have a distinct unpleasant smell and that his rule of thumb is “discard fish that smells fishy”.

He says that the scenario of the refrigerated delivery truck whose engine was switched off for a number of hours prior to delivery needn’t necessarily lead to a fall in the refrigerated ambient temperature within it as long as the truck’s doors haven’t been opened.

He adds that major points of sale of seafood products such as Billingsgate market in south-east London have power points specifically to ensure that the refrigeration units of delivery trucks are kept on, thus ensuring that the seafood products they are carrying are kept at the correct cooled or frozen temperatures.

He does concede though, that for oysters specifically, in his 40 years’ experience as a restaurant professional, statistically all restaurants that offer them will occasionally serve oysters that lead to food poisoning.

Lastly, he says that in his experience restaurants are extremely rigorous in the correct application of good food management principles and most cases of food poisoning from contaminated seafood in fact occur in private residences where there is much less awareness of these principles.

Furthermore, he says that among people who aren’t professionals of the food industry, there is also a poor understanding of food poisoning and in all suspected cases enquiries are always made about what was eaten in the previous 72 hours as invariably the cause of the incident was not what was last consumed.

Across the Channel in France, a similar approach also exists with a specialist Marseille-based seafood restaurant and retailer that has two busy branches and has been operating for over 60 years.

The manager of this business, who deals the most with quality and cold chain monitoring, says for him visual inspection of seafood products upon receipt of new stock is his most useful tool to determine whether an appropriate cold chain has been maintained.

He says fish that is spoiled due to not having been kept at the correct cooled temperature will “not feel right” and “not have the right firmness”. This, he says, occurs even before the product starts to smell bad.

He also knows that fish that is spoiled always have eyes that are not the correct colour, which is another indication that they haven’t been kept at the correct chilled temperature prior to delivery.

Another aspect of how his restaurant ensures the quality of the products they serve is to only use trusted suppliers and not to deal with intermediaries. Because of these strong longstanding relationships, his business benefits from a “no questions asked” returns policy.Timestrip plus food monitoring

He also says experience is also key, pointing to the 60+ years his establishment has been in existence.

However, like his counterpart in the UK, beyond many years’ professional experience and the use of trusted suppliers and mainly visual inspection of seafood products upon receipt, no cold chain monitoring tools are used.

Both also were emphatic about stressing the value of their respective establishment’s reputation and how damaging an outbreak of food poisoning would be. This, they both said, was always one of the main issues at the front of their minds when they managed their seafood products.

However at one of Marseille’s main teaching hospitals, one senior nurse was extremely dubious about how restaurants manage and monitor seafood cold chains. Her many years’ clinical experience was that they often cut corners and few would discard products that might be spoiled, but could not be returned, due to the appropriate cold chain not having been maintained. She also said she thought this extremely worrying situation would occur even if sophisticated temperature indicators were used at all stages of the seafood cold chain.

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Blood Temp 10 at the AABB 2014 Annual Meeting


2014 AABB Annual Meeting

Timestrip was on display at the Exhibit Hall in the impressive Pennsylvania Convention Center during the 2014 AABB Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA from the  25-28 of October.

2014 AABB Annual Meeting Exhibit Hall

Among the top medical devices and compliance tools for blood banks and hospitals being shown to AABB members from around the globe, our Blood Temp 10 product had its own display at the GenesisBPS booth.

Timestrip at the 2014 AABB Annual Meeting

We had fun meeting AABB members and demonstrating how our Blood Temp 10 product works.

Timestrip at Genesis booth during the 2014 AABB Annual Meeting

Timestrip Blood Temp 10 is an irreversible, single-use 10ºC temperature breach indicator. It can be stored and shipped at room temperature when inert and is activated with simple finger pressure.

Once activated a confirmation window tells you the product is ready to monitor by filling with colour. It is then immediately adhered on the lower third of a pre-chilled blood bag.

BT10 Hand Activation

Blood Temp 10 is ideal for the transportation of blood bags. When the core temperature of the blood breaches 10ºC, the indication window turns blue, showing you the blood is no longer suitable to return to storage.

Timestrip Blood Temp 10 on a Blood Bag during the AABB 2014 Annual Meeting

If you missed out seeing us at the AABB 2014 Annual Meeting, you can read more about Blood Temp 10 here.

If you liked the clear breach indication and ease of use of Blood Temp 10, but need to monitor extreme room temperature breaches, then have a look at our Timestrip Plus ascending temperature breach indicators here.


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Belgium Military Hospital uses Timestrip Temperature Indicators

Belgium Military Hospital uses Timestrip Temperature Indicators to help protect vital blood stocks – PRESS RELEASE

Smart label pioneers Timestrip, working with their Benelux distribution partner INNOLABEL, have confirmed that the Queen Astrid Military Hospital in Belgium has adopted a temperature control regime for red blood cells, platelets and plasma using Timestrip Temperature Indicators.  Application of the Timestrip labels is helping to expose potentially fatal changes caused by damaging ascending or descending temperature and prevent unnecessary wastage of valuable life saving products through accurate temperature monitoring outside the cold chain.


In addition to ongoing patient care and clinical research conducted at the hospital, there is a burns center and a blood bank taking donations from the active military and local civilian defense staff. Patients in the burns center are treated with blood products from the blood bank, along with children in the Hematology Oncology Center at the nearby Queen Fabiola Hospital.

Blood products are also shipped abroad to treat service personnel on foreign assignments, often in lifesaving scenarios.

In line with the Federal Public Health regulatory guidelines, the red blood cells, platelets and plasma are collected, processed and stored at their prescribed temperatures until released from the cold chain. Red blood cell concentrates are stored in refrigerators at +4 °C. Blood plasma is frozen to -80 ° C. Platelets are stored at a temperature of +22 ° C and gently agitated to prevent coagulation. The temperature in medical refrigerators is constantly monitored and reported, in line with regulatory demands.

Blood Temp 10 TimestripHowever, the transportation of the red blood cell concentrates from the blood bank refrigerators to the care unit or operating theatre takes place in refrigerated boxes.  It is here where Timestrip indicators become the guardians of product quality, monitoring individual product consignments for temperature abuse.

Timestrip indicators are activated by simple finger pressure and placed directly on to blood bag labels, monitoring the core bag temperature and providing clear visual indications of temperature excursions between 2-8 °C – including the length of time of that excursion.  Freeze indicators also used on products to identify if a damaging temperature descent has occurred below 0 °C, either at altitude or in severe cold climates.

Timestrip indicators show that the necessary transportation temperatures (outside of the controlled cold chain) have been maintained. As a result, decisions regarding the permissible return of stock to the blood bank, or the safe use of products kept in cool boxes over a prolonged treatment period are made possible. The failsafe nature of the Timestrip technology and the irreversible display readings remove all ambiguity from the quality checks.

Without Timestrip indicators, the care teams would be obliged to follow The Federal Public Health guidelines that demand red blood cell concentrates returned to the blood bank are destroyed, if there is no proof that optimal storage conditions were maintained. The result is that invaluable blood products are destroyed by this lack of certainty. In the past, this ambiguity has led to significant wastage of perfectly good product, which is both costly and ethically uncomfortable to front line teams who know that blood donors give blood to help protect life, not see their donations discarded due to ambiguity.

Commenting on the adoption of Timestrip indicators, Dr. Christian Vandenvelde, Head of the Military Department for Blood Transfusion observes “By using the freeze indicators we can tell if the product has been frozen during storage or transport.  Should an error occur and, for example, platelets have been kept in a freezer instead of at room temperature, then the freeze indicator makes this temperature abuse absolutely clear.  With red blood cells, freezing causes the red blood cells to break down and if the temperature rises too high then bacteria could multiply to dangerous levels.”

There are no special storage requirements for Timestrip labels which makes handling much more efficient when compared to other indicators. This is critical in operational terms, given that the blood bank teams have identified the need for speed when it comes to ID-tagging red blood cell concentrates once removed from the cold chain.Lieutenant France T’Sas, Doctor in biomedical sciences, has seen a big improvement in the way products are handled, commenting ”By using the TimestripPlus label, we noticed that there was already a limited excursion of the optimal temperature during ID – tagging of the red blood cell concentrates. The fact is that it warms up quickly, while it takes much longer to cool down. Timestrip indicators have helped identify this and as a result we have adapted and speeded up our procedures to prevent these excursions.  The TimestripPlus label is very user friendly, very accurate and readable to anyone without any additional explanation.”

Dr.Vandenvelde concludes, “By applying freeze indicator and a TimestripPlus label, we can demonstrate that we now have continuous temperature monitoring of our blood products. This also means that we have more certainty on the storage conditions in order to take back blood products. Moreover, any human error can be discovered and critical mistakes avoided.

As a results of these advances in red blood cell product monitoring , we are now also using Timestrip labels with different temperature limits to  apply to the platelets and plasma , because here continuous temperature control is an absolute must.  Also, the cost of a TimestripPlus label is negligible in relation to the value of the blood products. These life saving products are too precious not to employ all means possible in order to improve our procedures, ensure quality and remove unnecessary wastage.”The Belgium Military logistics teams are also using Timestrip indicators for temperature control of red blood cells during air transport to Africa, where they have soldiers in active service.  All air transport equipment is validated for the transportation of red blood cell concentrates and both the TimestripPlus and freeze indicators are used inside the validated shippers to help front line medical teams keep an eye on optimal temperatures during transport.

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