Sainsbury and Morrisons Remove Metal Contaminated Products from Shop Shelves
The announcement of a Food Safety issue at any major supermarket is always cause for concern. The latest ‘metal in food’ safety announcement relates to chilled desert products, such as chocolate eclairs and profiteroles, supplied by Bakkavor to Sainsbury and Morrisons in the UK.
During the food manufacturing, it is widely accepted that metal will be introduced into the process. The metal can arise from processing equipment (eg a broken screen, damaged pump) or from accidental introduction. The metal can be ferrous, stainless steel or non-ferrous.
Ensuring that the metal is removed during the process or detected and removed as part of the final product is achieved by installing a series of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors. Magnetic Separators are able to magnetically attract and hold ferrous metal and abraded stainless steel. Stainless steel becomes weakly magnetic when work hardened (eg from wear) and can be attracted and held by strong Rare Earth Magnets in the form of Tube Magnets, Grate Magnets and Plate Magnets.
Commonly, Magnetic Separators are installed as the food is being processed and Metal Detectors are used towards the end of the process, often just before and after packing the food product.
As processes and products change, a regular review of the plant is required to check that the Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors are located in the optimum position to capture any problematic metal. This is often Magnetic Separation Audit with the findings recorded as part of the Quality and Safety Management procedure.
Other news articles discussing Metal Contamination in food include:
- Sainsbury warns of metal in bread;
- The damage of metal contaminated food;
- Metal shards contaminate frozen meat;