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ETI THERMAPEN: New BABY food thermometer offers safe haven for parents | City & Business | Finance





Launching this month, First Food Thermapen (£40) puts an end to trial-and-error by hitting the Goldilocks’ zone and delivering an accurate reading in seconds that’s geared to multi-tasking mums and dads. It marks the latest innovation from Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), a Sussex-based measuring equipment manufacturer that boasts a worldwide foodie fanbase spanning ambitious amateurs, famous chefs and professional kitchens in 100 countries.

“Food, breast milk and formula can be heated and re-heated safely with our new product and guide. Many parents are unsure about correct temperatures, yet they are crucial for the preservation of nutrients and hygiene maintenance,” explains ETI managing director and co-founder Peter Webb. 

“Microwaving alone for example isn’t enough, families must be able to trust and control.”

He and his wife Miriam, “best friends and business partners”, set up the family firm 35 years ago making affordable measuring instruments and probes at a time when the food industry was largely ignoring this aspect.

After strong orders from start, however, the archetypal family firm, which now includes the couple’s three children as directors, has expanded steadily making 70 percent of what it sells and with sales now split 40:60 between the UK and overseas.

This year the company is forecasting a £15.7 million turnover and employs 175 plus staff on three sites in Worthing. 

Its most recent acquisition, taking £500,000 of investment, will house its R&D team and be the design and manufacturing hub for its wifi, Bluetooth and infrared products.

Able to monitor without probing they are essential for checking the likes of frozen food and hotplate servings

A boost from the tightening of food hygiene regulations in 1990, the broad range of its Thermapens which cover from -49.9C to 299.9C, helped establish the business. 

Then another unforeseen game-changer, Britain’s revolutionary transformation into a nation of adventurous but discerning food-conscious consumers and suppliers, consolidated its success.

Now whether cooks aspire to bake the perfect macaroon or just want to knock out a creative dish or two, a thermometer is part of their toolkit.

“The celebrity shows, endorsements and more recently interest generated by Instagram posts have brought food and the importance of temperature control to the fore, creating a trend and demand for more technology in the way we cook at home,” says Webb who as well as having John Lewis as a key UK stockist has seen sales soar in the US thanks to competitive BBQ-ing.

Now more akin to a national sport there, the slow cooking expertise and appraisal skills expected from teams has proved a match made in heaven for ETI’s Thermapen Professional model.

Sales are also growing in Chile, Argentina and Peru, countries with strong culinary reputations although Brazil’s size and inflation have made it a tougher one to crack so far.

“Brexit uncertainty has widened our horizons,” says Webb.

“Our biggest difficulty is when the value of the US dollar falls. But we have always been a company that focuses on sustainability through steady growth and re-investing profits. Through that we were able to develop the First Food Thermapen which took eight months and £100,000.”

After a hiring a team of green ambassadors the company has reduced its packaging, pursues eco-friendly printing for catalogues and fields volunteers for Worthing’s beach clean-ups.

“We are proud our products have ‘Made in Britain’ on them,” says Webb. “For all the obstacles there much to celebrate about British manufacturing.”


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Ottawa education workers still teaching special-ed students at schools want safety checks





Some Ottawa educators say they are concerned about the safety of classrooms that remain open in schools for special-education students.

Ontario elementary and secondary students have been sent home to study virtually because of the dangers posed by rising rates of COVID-19. However, special-education classes are still operating at many bricks-and-mortar schools.

The special-education classes include students with physical and developmental disabilities, autism and behaviour problems. Some don’t wear masks and require close physical care.

Two unions representing teachers and educational assistants at the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board have sent letters to Ottawa Public Health expressing their concerns.

It’s urgent that public health officials inspect classrooms to assess the safety of the special-ed classes, said a letter from the Ottawa branch of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, which also represents the educational assistants who work with special-needs children.

“In the absence of reasons based on medical evidence to keep specialized systems classes open, we are unsure as to the safety of staff and students in these programs,” said the letter signed by president Stephanie Kirkey and other union executives.

The letter said staff agreed that students in specialized classes had difficulty with remote education and benefited most from in-person instruction.

“Our members care deeply about the students they work with and are not only concerned about their own health and safety, but also about that of their students, as they are often unable to abide by COVID safety protocols that include masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene, thus making it more likely that they could transmit the virus to one another,” the letter said.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has 1,286 elementary and secondary students in special-education classes attending in person at 87 schools, said spokesperson Darcy Knoll.

While final numbers were not available, Knoll said the board believed a large number of the special-education students were back in class on Friday at schools.

In-person classes for other elementary and secondary students are scheduled to resume Jan. 25.

The school boards provide PPE for educators in special-education classes as required, including surgical masks, face shields, gloves and gowns.

Several educators interviewed said they don’t understand why it has been deemed unsafe for students in mainstream classes to attend class, but not special-ed students.

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Ottawa sets record of 210 new COVID-19 cases following lag in data reporting





Ottawa has now broken its daily record for new COVID-19 cases twice in 2021, with 210 new cases added on Friday amid a lag in data reports from earlier in the week.

The nation’s capital has now seen 10,960 cases of the novel coronavirus.

Ottawa Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard reports 977 active cases of the virus in Ottawa, a jump of more than 100 over Thursday’s figures.

One additional person has died in relation to COVID-19 in Ottawa, raising the city’s death toll in the pandemic to 395.

The record-setting case count comes a day after Ottawa reported a relatively low increase of 68 cases. Ontario’s COVID-19 system had meanwhile reported 164 new cases on Thursday.

OPH said Thursday that due to a large number of case reports coming in late Wednesday, the local system did not account for a large portion of cases. The health unit said it expects the discrepancy to be filled in the subsequent days.

Taken together, Thursday and Friday’s reports add 278 cases to Ottawa’s total, a daily average of 139 cases.

The new single-day record surpasses a benchmark set this past Sunday, when the city recorded 184 new cases.

Ontario also reported a new record of 4,249 cases on Friday, with roughly 450 of those cases added due to a lag in reporting in Toronto.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 also continues to climb in Ottawa. OPH’s dashboard shows there are currently 24 people in hospital with COVID-19, seven of whom are in the intensive care unit.

Three new coronavirus outbreaks were added to OPH’s dashboard on Friday. One outbreak affects a local shelter where one resident has tested positive for the virus, while the other two are traced to workplaces and private settings in the community.

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Ottawa family dealing with mould issue in apartment grateful for support





OTTAWA — An Ottawa family, who has been dealing with mould in their south Ottawa apartment, is grateful for the support they have received from the community.

“I would like to say big very mighty, big thank you to everyone,” says Nofisat Adeniyi.

Adeniyi lives with her three sons in a South Keys apartment. Her son Desmond turned to social media on Sunday to seek help for the family, saying they’ve been dealing with mould in their unit and it has taken too long to fix.

“I see my mom go through a struggle everyday; with three kids, it’s not easy,” says 16-year-old Desmond Adeniyi.

He setup a GoFundMe page to help the family raise money to move out. After gaining online attention and the story, which originally aired CTV News Ottawa on Tuesday, they have been able to raise over $30,000.

“Yes! I was surprised, a big surprise!” says Nofisat Adeniyi, “We are free from the mess that we’ve been going through.”

The family was so touched, they decided to pay it forward and donated $5,000 to another family in need, “A lady my son told me about,” says Nofisat Adeniyi.

The recipient wants to remain anonymous, but when she found out from Adeniyi, “She was crying, she has three kids; I remember when I was, I can feel what she’s feeling – because I was once in those shoes.”

CTV News Ottawa did reach out to the property management company for an update on the mould. In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for COGIR Realty wrote:

“We respect the privacy of our residents and are unable to disclose any specific information regarding any of our residents. We can, however, let you know that we are working with the residents and are making every effort to resolve this matter as soon as possible,” said Cogir Real Estate

The giving did not stop at just cash donations. “When I saw the segment, the thing that struck me the most was how easily the situation can be resolved,” says mould removal expert Charlie Leduc with Mold Busters in Ottawa.

Leduc is not involved in the case, but appeared in the original story, and after seeing the mould on TV wanted to help.

“This isn’t something that we typically do, but given the circumstance and given the fact that this has gone on way too long, our company is willing to go in and do this work for free,” said Leduc.

The Adeniyi family may now have some options, and are grateful to the community for the support.

“Yes, It’s great news — you can see me smiling,” says Nofisat.

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