The latest metal contaminated food scandal has hit a meat products producer in the USA, as reported by Food Safety News (September 3rd, 2015). The consequence of the news report will be far reaching for Kenosha Beef International Ltd and will seriously affect the confidence of their customers. The cost, in monetary terms, will also be significant with potential penalties and the management time needed to manage the situation.
The food production process means that metal can be introduced at various stages. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to prevent the introduction of metal. Fortunately, however, the metal contamination can be both detected and removed using a combination of Metal Detection and Magnetic Separation.
Metal Detection occurs when a metal particle passes through a magnetic field and causes the magnetic field to react. This triggers an alarm which then can stop the conveyor, reject the material or even mark the material. Using Metal Detectors on meat products can be difficult, but there are specialist designs for the meat industry such as the Bunting meatLINE Metal Detector.
Magnetic Separators are usually installed prior to the Metal Detection stage and are used to remove magnetically susceptible materials. There are a wide range of designs to suit specific locations and applications in a meat processing plant and include In-Line Magnets (chunky materials) and Magnetic Traps (slurries) among others.
The best way to assess how to ensure the end food product being metal-free is to work with the suppliers of the Metal Detectors and Magnetic Separators and have an free onsite audit undertaken. By reviewing the process, the best options can be considered and the best solution proposed.
It is only a matter of time before the next metal contaminated food headline is published, but it is less likely to be one of the companies who regularly reviews and assesses their processes and the metal separation and detection systems that they have in place.
For further information on metal contamination prevention please contact Carlton Hicks on: