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Thermometers and the Coronavirus

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    Thermometers and the Coronavirus

    Can BBQ thermometers be used for taking personal temps in this age of the Coronavirus?

    #2
    Just the thought of taking my temp with my Thermopen MK4 makes me shudder!!!

    Comment


      #3
      Interesting idea. I might try aiming my IR thermometer at my wife's head and see what I get. Besides a lump on my head for pointing a "gun" at her.

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, you can. I've used my thermapen and my IR gun on occasion. Just be real super careful if you use a thermapen type thermometer with those sharp tips. I'd hate to go to the emergency room for any reason right now, but explaining I'd managed to skewer my tongue with a sharp thermometer probe would make a bad matter even worse.

        Comment


        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          Under the arm, add a degree.

        • Chriscooks
          Chriscooks commented
          Editing a comment
          Not that I’m recommending anyone here to go ahead and use their meat thermometer for that (and I’d never cook with it again), the er staff have seen far more embarrassing scenarios. Some not appropriate to mention here. That show “*** sent me to the er” comes To mind. But even this would be crazy embarrassing.

        • Craigar
          Craigar commented
          Editing a comment
          IowaGirl If I pierce my tongue with the thermometer, I can just add it to my list of culinary flubups including getting a fondue fork stuck in my hand and having to go to ER to get it cut out when I was in 6th grade. Fortunately it didn't hurt much and it didn't bleed, as it had just came out of the hot oil we were using for the sirloin. PSA - when fonduing sirloin, don't get greedy and try putting 2 chunks of meat on the same fork....just sayin'.

        #5
        Just stick the MK4 in the thickest part of your body, avoiding bone. Or you could go with a leave-in type thermometer and set an alarm to let you know when a fever is coming on. It would hurt, but should get the job done.

        Comment


        • surfdog
          surfdog commented
          Editing a comment
          I have a friend that does just that...
          Sticks his Mk4 into his “patients” liver for the most accurate reading...

          Granted, he’s a coroner...but it’s still the best spot. Yikes LOL

          A leave in would be miserable. ROFL

        • RonB
          RonB commented
          Editing a comment
          Ya beat me to it. I gave that advice on another site the other day, but said to stick it in the meatiest part of your thigh while avoiding bone...

        #6
        I would think logically it would work, same with an IR gun. But interestingly enough I was trolling YouTube last night and came across this couple that were two older folks from Australia that got caught on one of those cruise ships quarantined in Japan. They ended up in a hospital and wanted to document their experience. The funny thing was they said that even at the point of being the sickest they really only had a mild fever and a cough, not much worse than a cold really.

        But what's that got to do with a thermometer? Well in taking their temperature (which they had to do 4-5 times a day) this guy became (out of boredom I suppose) a thermometer expert. He claims that all themos are calibrated for various parts of the body; either under the tongue, under the forearm or in the old derriere. I would have never guessed that in a million years. Wonder what a Thermoworks probe is calibrated to if at all ???

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        • Bogy
          Bogy commented
          Editing a comment
          In my doctor's office and in the local hospital where my wife was, they swipe the thermometer across your forehead. We have one here at home that you press against your temple. This is why I thought of aiming it at my wife's head.
          When my wife runs a temp of 98 she has a raging fever. I heard a program recently where a researcher compared temps from the civil war to today. The average normal temp is lower today, and he speculated that in those days everyone was a little sick all the time.
          Last edited by Bogy; March 17, 2020, 02:42 PM.

        • texastweeter
          texastweeter commented
          Editing a comment
          It's calibrated for in the butt of course...

        • surfdog
          surfdog commented
          Editing a comment
          An ear (tympanic) temp is 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) HIGHER than an oral temperature. An armpit (axillary) temp is usually 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) lower than an oral temp. A forehead (temporal) scanner is usually 0.5°F (0.3°C) to 1°F (0.6°C) LOWER as well.

          As long as you know that, any good thermometer could be pressed into service. Even if it doesn’t strictly meet guidelines...but for a quick check at home I can’t see too much harm, so long as the unit in question is accurate enough.

        #7
        This thread reminds me of this old gem!

        Click image for larger version

Name:	Thermometer.jpg
Views:	330
Size:	38.3 KB
ID:	816455

        Comment


        • smokin fool
          smokin fool commented
          Editing a comment
          I'd go with taste being a dead giveaway

        • surfdog
          surfdog commented
          Editing a comment
          smokin fool for the win! LOL

        • wu7y
          wu7y commented
          Editing a comment
          I saw that several years ago too. Not only was I happier than a pig in a puddle that I didn't work there, I have never, ever, purchased a Johnson & Johnson thermometer.
          Last edited by wu7y; March 22, 2020, 10:54 AM.

        #8
        I’m impressed with so much great humor! Rarely laughed so hard at some of these responses!

        Comment


        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          To answer your question, though... yes, it should be very accurate.

        #9
        I use my T-pen all the time. It's sharp though.

        Comment


          #10
          We laugh about this at work. I have poked a Thermoworks RT600C (Serial # ending in 468) in too many raw chickens and raw chicken parts to count. The probe is bent a little and I've been using it 5-6 days a week (12 hour shifts galore) for over three years now. It gets calibrated daily on the cold end (32.0-F in ice water) and even out beats a Thermapen which sometimes settles at 32.1-F.

          Anywho, I can't for the life of me use that thermometer to check my food, check my temp, or get that probe tip anywhere near anything that won't get heated with fire in the not too distant future, even though it gets cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Just the thought of where it has been.....and after all, it's the thought that counts.

          Comment


            #11
            As a joke and an experiment, I took a baseline reading on my kids’ forehead with my Thermoworks Infrared and they took mine. We all registered near 94. Hopefully we don’t have to retest. 😀

            Comment


              #12
              The real question here is whether or not I can reverse this issue and use a rectal thermometer on a pork butt.

              Comment


              • Jerod Broussard
                Jerod Broussard commented
                Editing a comment
                Without being the butt of all jokes?

              #13
              Duh. Just tumbled to this -- If you have a DOT or Smoke or other thermometer with plug-in sensor probes, use an air probe if you have one to take your temp, rather than a sharp-tipped food probe. Much safer!

              Comment


                #14
                Now y'all got me thinking...with all my Thermoworks stuff, I've accrued a fair number of extra grate temp probes...relatively safe for most any orifice. So hook up that new four probe monitor with four grate temp probes and....
                Golly, if the probe wires were long enough you could monitor you and three friends at safe distances, or, just hand out your DOTS, one for each.

                Comment


                  #15
                  We've been adjusting the temp in our second refrigerator's freezing compartment, and I've been using my IR to check the temp. My wife was thinking it only registered hot things, and asked how low it would go. I didn't know offhand, so I checked the Thermoworks page. The range is -76 to 1022°F (-60 to 550°C), in case you were wondering. But we are evidently not the only ones about using BBQ Thermometers to read personal temps.
                  https://www.thermoworks.com/covid-19-screening
                  COVID-19 Temperature Screening

                  We are receiving many inquiries regarding the suitability of our general-purpose infrared thermometers for fever screening of employees and others. FDA Listed Device is Coming

                  ThermoWorks is expediting the launch of a new Forehead Thermometer that will be FDA Listed for human temperatures as a Class II medical/clinical thermometer. Availability is expected to be early May 2020. Check back for further announcements. Our Other Infrared Thermometers

                  ThermoWorks other infrared thermometer products are intended for food service, food processing, industrial, scientific and general home use. They are not FDA Cleared for clinical use. We therefore do not make any claims on their suitability for medical temperatures.

                  In the current pandemic environment, there is a worldwide shortage of infrared sensors and medical infrared thermometers. If someone were to use a general-purpose infrared thermometer as a substitute scanning tool for detecting elevated body temperatures, we offer the following cautions:

                  • Forehead temperature is several degrees lower than core body temperature of 98.6°F (37°C). Medical forehead thermometers make a mathematical adjustment to display an equivalent oral temperature. When using general-purpose infrared thermometers to read forehead temperatures, the readings will likely be lower than 98.6°F, even if a fever is present. Normal forehead skin temperature can vary several degrees depending on your environment (indoors or out), exercise, perspiration, etc. It would be normal to read an actual forehead skin surface temperature between 91°F and 94°F if using a general-purpose infrared thermometer.

                  • The best approach is to know the normal forehead skin temperature of a specific individual in good health. A surface reading would then be more useful in determining whether a fever is present.

                  • In scanning a population of individuals, if a subject had a fever of 4 to 5 degrees above normal, one would expect the forehead skin temperature to read 4 to 5 degrees higher than the average of other healthy subjects. Still, such a scan could not be regarded as a reliable absolute measurement of core body temperature.

                  • Users should be aware of the “spot size” of the infrared thermometer’s measurement area. They should also consider the distance-to-target recommendations of the instrument. The angle of the sensor to the subject is also important.

                  • If the general-purpose IR thermometer has a laser-pointing feature, it is best to turn the laser off if possible (or cover it with tape) and always use great care to avoid pointing it at someone’s eyes. The laser is not part of the measurement technology and is only used to assist in aiming.

                  • Some industrial IR thermometers allow the adjustment of the emissivity setting. In medical literature human skin is noted to have an emissivity between 0.95 and 0.99 regardless of color. Some users report that by setting an adjustable emissivity to 0.78, the instrument will give a forehead temperature reading that approximates the normal oral temperature. We cannot offer advice on the reliability of this approach.

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