Preventing Metal Contamination
Food contamination cost manufacturers a shocking $55.5 billion a year and the average amount of food recalls in the United States consists of 550 different types of products yearly.
A product recall is a request to return a product after the discovery of safety issues or product defects that might endanger the consumer or put the maker/seller at risk of legal action.
Food manufacturers are challenged to follow government regulations and maintain an effective Food Safety Management System this is includes Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule. While there are many types of contamination that are harder to notice including Salmonella, Listeria and things such as undeclared allergens; there is safety equipment specifically designed to detect foreign substances such as metal. Fortunately, for manufacturers preventing metal contamination is much easier with the technology of metal detectors.
A few years ago, 74,000 cases of pasta were recalled due to possible metal fragments in seasoning packets. This manufacturer was quick to act with a voluntary food recall when the first metal was detected in the product and no injuries were reported. In another instance 2.8 million boxes of cereal were voluntarily recalled for possible metal fragments. The Wall Street Journal report this recall cost the manufacturer a staggering 30 million dollars!
Metal detection allows companies to be in compliance with food safety inspection standards. Favorably, there were not any injuries with the above product recalls as the companies responsible responded with voluntary recalls at the first batch of metal detected. While these recalls are a massive loss financially for the manufacturers, it doesn’t begin to compare to what could have happened without the use of metal detectors. Purchasing, utilizing and maintaining safety equipment allows manufactures to provide quality food products consumers can trust. Manufacturers in the food industry are proactive and extremely thorough in ensuring their equipment is fully functional and that their safety equipment is well serviced with a preventative maintenance plan.
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