Scandinavian Exhibitions with Tekemas

Bunting Provide Technical Support at Two Overseas Shows

Local representative Tekemas has exhibited at two Autumn international trade shows in 2018.  The equipment displayed on their stands included a selection of Magnetic Separators.  Both exhibitions proved to be successful, with leads for both magnetic separation and metal detection equipment.

Tekemas is based in Rodovre, Denmark and specialises in providing solutions in the handling and processing of powders and granules.  They represent a number of international equipment and technology suppliers including Wysetech Materials Handling and Matcon.

Scanpack (Gothenburg, Sweden, 23-26 October 2018)

Tekemas Team at Scanpack 18
Tom Higginbottom (far right) with the Tekemas team

Scanpack is an international event for the packaging industry.  Exhibitors showcase solutions for the entire packaging process.  Visitors included managers, marketers, brand managers and others involved in packaging, from conception and design, through to production and logistics.  Representatives from companies based in over 40 countries attend the show.

Bunting’s Sales Engineer, Tom Higginbottom, attended the show.

“Overseas exhibitions provide an ideal opportunity to learn about the local markets,” Tom explained.  “The time I spent with the Tekemas team has been precious.  I was able to provide support with technical information and, potentially more importantly, develop my relationship with the Tekemas engineers.”

FoodTech (Herning, Denmark, 13-15 November 2018)

Tekemas_Stand_FoodTech18_4413
Dave Hills (left) with Fleming Petersen, owner of Tekemas

FoodTech is a food technology event, held every two years in MCH Messecenter Herning.  The exhibition is focused on showcasing the latest technology for the food manufacturing and processing sectors.

Tekemas were supported by Bunting’s Head of Sales, Dave Hills.

“Before I had even left the United Kingdom, Tekemas had arranged meetings on the stand with prospective customers,” said Dave.  “Supporting our local representatives at shows like this is so important.  The time can be used for product and application training as well as developing all-important relationships.  It has been a very successful show.”

Bunting and Master Magnets are continually searching for new overseas representatives in a wide range of industrial sectors.  For further information, contact Dave Hills on dhills@buntingeurope.com.

For further information on Magnetic Separators or Metal Detectors used in removing and detecting metal contamination in food, please visit our website or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

15 Magnetic Liquids Traps Keep Orange Juice Metal Free

Export Success to Fruit Juice Industry in Spain

In the past 18 months, Bunting has manufactured and supplied 15 Magnetic Liquid Traps to citrus juice producers in Spain.  The magnetic separators are used to capture and remove fine iron from the juice.

Need for Magnetic Separator Protection

Magnetic-Liquid-Trap-Cartridge-md-gasketsFine iron is commonly found in most food processes.  The origin of the metal contamination is often difficult to pinpoint.  Typical sources include:

  • When the fruit is harvested.  Dirt can often have a magnetic constituent and is carried on the surface of the fruit;
  • During transportation.  Even if the fruit is collected in plastic containers, metal contamination can be introduced from the transport (eg rust, metal dust, dirt).
  • When the fruit is processed.  The process of extracting the juice from the orange or grapefruit involves several stages where the fruit is sliced and compressed.  Wear to the process equipment will produce fine metal contamination.

Extracting the Metal Contamination

Due to the fine nature of the metal contamination, high strength magnets are required.  The Bunting Magnetic Liquid Traps are fitted with Neodymium Rare Earth Tube Magnets, the strongest permanent magnets presently available.

20180424_170346
Fine iron contamination removed from fruit juice

The Magnetic Liquid Filters are designed to ensure maximum contact is made between the juice and the magnetic fields by forcing liquids through a tightly spaced grid of magnets.  Ferrous contamination is magnetically extracted from the liquid flow by the extremely powerful Rare Earth magnet design and held firmly on the surface of the Tube Magnets.

Cleaning of the Tube Magnets is simple.  On a designated frequency, determined by the level of contamination, the lid of the Magnetic Liquid Trap is removed.  The Tube Magnets are attached to the lid and are then manually wiped clean.

Dealing With Acidity

Fruit juices are naturally acidic, ranging between 2.00 and 4.80.  This level of acid has the ability to corrode standard welds.  In the Magnetic Liquid Trap, the Tube Magnets are welded onto the lid.  The welds are all to food grade standards.

20180424_161133
Welds eaten away by the acidic juice causing swelling and failure of the magnets

However, if standard welding materials are used, these will pit and corrode over time.  Eventually, the weld will be eaten away, allowing the ingress of liquid into the Tube Magnet casing.  This catastrophically damages the magnets, causing them to swell and lose their magnetic properties.  As the magnet swells, it can also split the outer casing.

Exporting Success

“We are now regularly supplying Liquid Magnetic Traps into Spain,” explained Dave Hills, Bunting’s Head of Sales.  “Our local representative has done a great job in helping the local citrus juice producers.  He understands the industry and fully understands the challenges.”

For further information on Magnetic Separators used in removing metal contamination from fruit juices or for any food processing application, please visit our website or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

 

Magnetic Separator Audit for Jordans Dorset Ryvita

Inspecting Magnet Strength

Bunting engineers have conducted a thorough review of all the Magnetic Separators installed at the Jordans Dorset Ryvita plant in Poole, Dorset.  The audit was completed over three days, including attending site on Saturday to prevent any loss in production.

20180220_112713
Master Magnets Grate Magnet

Jordans Dorset Ryvita has a strong heritage of making whole grain foods and working with farmers to protect the countryside.  Ever since the brands first came together, they have continued to act on these values.

A Magnetic Separator Audit involves the inspection and test of Magnetic Separators to confirm their magnetic and physical integrity.  Commonly, such tests are conducted annually, with the final report forming part of the company’s quality audit process.

The tests in a Magnetic Separator Audit are conducted in two stages.  Stage one involved the inspection of the physical integrity of the Magnetic Separator.  This includes checking welds, and assessing any wear and damage to the surface.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
The Spring Balance

Stage two involves testing the magnetic strength of the Magnetic Separator.  These tests are conducted by placed a magnetic ball or plate into the magnetic field and then measuring the force (in kgs) needed to remove that object from the surface of the magnetic separator.  The actual ‘gauss’ reading of a Magnetic Separator is not checked as measurement is difficult and often inaccurate.  Gauss is the is the cgs unit of measurement of magnetic flux density (or “magnetic induction”, but can be difficult to measure accurately.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
The Magnetic Test Piece

The metal test piece is attached to the end of the Spring Balance and then placed into the magnetic field, being attracted to the magnetic pole.  The metal test piece is then pulled off the surface of the magnetic separator whilst holding the other end of the spring balance.  The amount of force needed to remove the metal test piece from the surface is recorded (in kgs).  The test is repeated three times and an average reading taken.  Similar techniques are used to test other designs of Magnetic Separators such as Plate Magnets.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
The magnetic test piece on the surface of the Magnetic Separator

There were a wide range of designs, strengths and ages of Magnetic Separators in the production process at Jordans Dorset Ryvita.  The company had not experienced any problems due to metal contamination and requested the audit as part of their continued improvement plan.

Day one was spent assessing the location and recording the customer identity numbers of all the Magnetic Separators.  Checking the location also highlighted any health and safety issues that needed to be considered for the audit, such as working at heights.  The review identified 52 Magnetic Separators.

The physical checks of the Magnetic Separators were conducted on day two and three, on the weekend to minimise any production downtime.  Each Magnetic Separator was removed from its location and visually inspected.  Then the magnetic strength was checked using the pull test technique.  The data was recorded and presented in a detailed report with recommendations following the audit.  This report can then be used as part of the quality management system.  It also provides base data for comparison on future audits.

 

20180220_122203
Master Magnets Grate Magnet

Following the audit, the engineering team at Jordans Dorset Ryvita have made several changes to improve the removal of metal during the production process.

“Having an external review of the Magnetic Separators really helps the client,” explained Mark Harris, Bunting’s Engineer.  “We conducted the audit without any assumptions and this freedom enabled us to highlight the areas where protection was good and also focus attention where they could be improvements.  We are looking forward to working with the team at Jordans Dorset Ryvita for the long-term and providing our technical support when needed.”

For further information on measuring the strength of a Magnetic Separator, please visit our website or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

Photographs taken and videos produced by Paul Fears Photography

Practically Measuring Magnetic Separator Strength

Technically Assessing Magnetic Separator Power

A Magnetic Separator is designed to attract, capture and hold magnetic particles.  The magnetic strength needed to successfully achieve that design objective is commonly stated in a magnetic separator supplier’s quotation or specified in the tender.  This ‘Magnetic Strength’ is usually referenced in terms of ‘gauss’, a unit of measurement.  However, the ‘gauss’ value can be very difficult to accurately measure.

20180424_173613
Fine iron contamination captured on Tube Magnets

There is a more practical method of assessing the magnetic strength.  This removes any ambiguity whilst providing simple, repeatable, and comparable data to assess most Magnetic Separators.

Measuring Magnetic Strength

The magnetic strength of a Magnetic Separator is often referenced in terms of ‘gauss’.  Gauss (symbolized G) is the centimetre-gram-second (cgs) unit of magnetic flux density. A flux density of 1 G represents one maxwell per centimetre squared (1 Mx ­ cm -2 ).  It is named after the German scientist Carl Friedrich Gauss.

Gauss can be measured using a Gaussmeter.  However, it is important to note that the Gauss rating on its own does not fully indicate the strength of a magnet.  Additionally, gaussmeters can give a range of readings dependent upon the orientation of the probe and several other variable parameters.

Proposals for Tube Magnets often include details of length, diameter and the gauss reading.  With the gauss reading being so difficult to test and prove, purchasers and users are unable to check that the Tube Magnets supplied actually meet the specification of the quote and the order.

However, in terms of Magnetic Separation the objective for the user is simple; the magnetic force must enable the attraction and capture of any magnetically susceptible metal.  That ability can be measured as a function of the effort needed to remove a specific steel item from the surface.

The Method

Measuring the effort needed to remove a steel item from the face or surface of a Magnetic Separator is achieved using a spring balance and is commonly called a ‘Pull Test’.  The magnetic test piece (e.g. a 6mm ball bearing welded onto a non-magnetic attachment ring) is clipped onto the end of the spring balance.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
A Pull Test Kit ‘Spring Balance’

The magnetic test piece is placed on the surface of the Magnetic Separator and force applied at the other end of the spring balance until it is detached.  The force required to remove the magnetic test piece (measured in kgs) is recorded on the measurement scale of the spring balance.

Measurements are taken in the centre of the Tube Magnet and on the end poles.  They are repeated three times and the average recorded as the force required to remove the magnetic test piece at each point.

The following video explains the Pull Test technique.

This simple but effective method does not record or provide any indication of the gauss, but accurately provides data that can be used to compare the condition of a Magnetic Separator over time and compare the performance with other similar designs.

Pull Test Experiments

Magnetic Separator designs vary considerably depending on the application.  The Pull Test technique is suitable for measuring the magnetic strength of smaller Magnetic Separators such as Tube or Cartridge Magnets and Plate Magnets.

Tube or Cartridge Magnets are often used stand alone or as part of a Magnetic Separator configuration (e.g. Drawer Filter or Liquid Trap).

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
Magnetic Test Piece

A small steel ball is used as the magnetic test piece when measuring the magnetic strength of a Tube or Cartridge Magnet (the photograph shows a 6mm diameter ball)

The metal test piece is attached to the end of the Spring Balance and then placed into the magnetic field, being attracted to the magnetic pole.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
Magnetically Attracted Metal Test Piece

In a series of experiments, we used the Pull Test technique to assess the magnetic strength of Tube Magnets with Ceramic (Ferrite), Standard Neodymium Rare Earth, and High Strength Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets.

The tests were undertaken using three different sizes of steel ball in the magnetic test piece (6mm, 12mm and 25mm) and introduced non-magnetic spacer to assess the magnetic strength at specific distances away from the surface (3mm and 6mm).  All the recorded measurements are in kilograms (kg)

Ceramic (Ferrite)

Gap 6mm Ball 12mm Ball 25mm Ball
None 1.25 1.75 2.5
3mm NR NR 1.2
6mm NR NR NR

Graph - Ceramic Tube Magnet

Note:  all measurements are recorded in kilogrammes.

Standard Neodymium Rare Earth

Gap 6mm Ball 12mm Ball 25mm Ball
None 2 4.25 9
3mm 1.2 1.6 2.45
6mm NR 1.25 1.5

Graph - Std Neo Tube Magnet

Note:  all measurements are recorded in kilogrammes.

High Strength Neodymium Rare Earth

Gap 6mm Ball 12mm Ball 25mm Ball
None 3.75 9 14.5
3mm 1.5 2.5 4.6
6mm 1.1 1.5 2.25

Graph - High Strength Neo Tube Magnet

Note:  all measurements are recorded in kilogrammes.

In all cases, the drop off in magnetic strength as you move away from the surface of the Tube Magnet is significant and this highlights the need for metal contamination to come into contact with the surface.  Arrangements where the Tube Magnets are configured as a Grate (i.e. are lined up and equally spaced) commonly have a deflector above the gap between the Tubes that directs material in the area of maximum magnetic strength.

Comparison

The tests highlight the difference in magnetic strength on the surface, with high strength Rare Earth magnets producing nearly 3 times as much pull as Ceramic magnets.

Findings During Magnetic Separator Audits

Magnetic Separator Audits often highlight issues that had previously gone undetected.  The first check focuses on the physical integrity of the Magnetic Separator, inspecting welds, and assessing wear and damage.  Once these have been completed, the measurements are taken.

The most common findings when undertaking magnetic separator audits are:

Weld Failure

20180424_161133
Consequence of weld failure on a Liquid Magnetic Filter

Magnetic Liquid Filters, fitted into pipelines, have Tube Magnets that are welded to a lid and project down into the product flow.  Metal is attracted and captured on the surface of the Tube Magnet.

In cases where the welds have failed (e.g. poor manufacture, eaten away by acidic or alkaline liquids), liquid will seep into the tube and onto the magnets.  The magnets then swell and lose magnetic strength, ultimately splitting the outer stainless-steel casing.

Tube Magnet Wear

When material falls directly onto the surface of a Tube Magnet, over time the surface can be worn.  Wear usually occurs on the poles where magnetic particles have been captured.  Once the outer stainless-steel casing has been breached, the Tube Magnet should be replaced.

Weak Tube Magnets

Magnetic separation audits highlight the variance in magnetic strength of Tube Magnets.  Often, the Tube Magnets have been installed for some time and details of the original specification have been lost.  When testing the magnetic strength, some Tube Magnets are found to have very poor strength and provide little if no metal separation protection.  This is of great concern when the Tube Magnet is positioned to protect a particular item of processing plant where metal contamination damage could result in production downtime and costly repairs.

Conclusion

The Pull Test Experiments highlights the importance of physically checking the real magnetic strength of a Tube Magnet and not only replying on the stated gauss.  Including details of the force needed to detach a 6mm steel ball from the surface of the Tube Magnet in the request for quotation and the order, protects the user and ensures that the supplied equipment is as exactly as stated.

This ‘Pull Test’ measurement technique also enables a regular comparative test that will immediately highlight any drop in magnetic strength.  This can be used in annual audits or inspections as part of a plant’s quality management system.  A change in ‘pull’ strength may be the result of physical (e.g. failed weld, broken magnets from being dropped) or excessive heat.  The reduced magnetic force may result in the magnetic separator no longer being fit for purpose.

For further information on measuring the strength of a Magnetic Separator, please visit our website or contact us on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Email: press@buntingeurope.com
Via the website

Photographs taken and videos produced by Paul Fears Photography

Metal Contaminated Sugar Alert

Latest Metal Contamination Food Safety Alert

On the 28th July 2018, the UK Food Standards Agency released a food alert announcing ‘Tereos UK recalls Granulated Sugar due to the presence of small metal pieces‘.  This is the third report of metal being found in food reaching the consumer in 2018 after six metal contamination alerts in 2017.

Metal In Sugar

Metal enters the food manufacturing process via many different avenues.  Metal can be present in ingredients being delivered to a food processing plant and unless removed at source can enter the process and cause significant damage.  Equipment failure and wear can also lead to metal contamination and is usually removed with the right combination of magnetic separators and metal detectors.

The source of the metal contamination in the granulated sugar is presently unknown and an investigation is most likely underway.  The sugar is sold in the UK by the retailers Iceland, Poundland, and Sainsbury’s and has been recalled.  The metal contamination will be costly in terms of direct financial cost and reputation.

Getting Metal Out of Sugar

Removing metal contamination from granulated sugar is commonly achieved using Drawer Filter Magnets and Plate Magnets.  Plate Magnets are installed in chutes where the sugar flows over the surface.  Due to the small size of the sugar granules Neodymium Rare Earth Plate Magnets are preferable, producing the highest magnetic attractive force to remove small ferrous and magnetically-susceptible work-hardened stainless steel.

SC FF drawer - no tr#14B20B

Due to the potential sticky nature of the sugar, sleeved Drawer Filter Magnets are often preferred, in an easy-clean design.  The Rare Earth Tube Magnet sits tightly inside a fixed stainless steel outer tube.  Cleaning forms part of a daily maintenance schedule, with the Tube Magnets being withdrawn from the sleeves to drag and deposit metal contamination in a discharge chute.

Magnetic Separation Audits

Bunting engineers conduct regular Magnetic Separation Audits at many food manufacturing plants.  An audit involves the visual and physical inspection of every magnetic separator in a plant to check on the location, suitability integrity (ie checking welds and for wear), and magnetic strength (which can deteriorate with excessive heat, weld damage, or if dropped).  In April three Magnetic Audits were conducted and highlighted a number of issues that have since been addressed.

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Other Food Safety Articles

 

59 Pastry Products Potentially Contaminated with Metal

Tesco, Aldi and Nisa Recall Pastry Product Due to Potential Metal Contamination

On the 2nd June 2018, the Food Standards Agency announced that the Addo Food Group was recalling batches of chilled pastry products, including sausage rolls, pasties, pastry pies and slices because of potential contamination with small pieces of metal wire.  This is the latest food safety recall due to metal contamination and the announcement comes seven days before the start of National Food Safety Week.

Addo Food Group manufacture the chilled pastry products as own-branded products for major UK supermarkets Tesco, Aldi and Nisa, as well as those produced under the Walls and Millers brands.  The extent of the recall is substantial, with 59 products being recalled.

How Does Metal Get Into Food?

Unfortunately, food product recalls due to metal contamination are relatively common with 6 Food Safety Scares reported by the UK Food Standards Agency in 2017.

Metal In Food-1127

However, with the correct combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, such disastrous and costly product recalls should not happen.

Metal can enter the food production process at a number of stages:

  1. Metal can be present in the foodstuffs being delivered.  To prevent such an introduction of metal into the process, many food processors pass the in-feed material over Magnetic Separators and through Metal Detectors;
  2. Processing equipment wear and failure (e.g. screen break, pump collapse, etc) can cause metal to enter the process stream;
  3. Accidental introduction by people on site;

However, with the right combination of metal separation and detection equipment, such metal can be found and removed before any finished product leaves the production facility.

How To Prevent Metal Contamination

The vast majority of food processing plants have Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors installed.  Many of these have been in operation for many years which, in some cases, can be decades.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit
Demonstration of how to use the Bunting Magnetics pull test kit to measure the strength of Tube Magnets and Plate Magnets

During some recent Magnetic Separator Audits at UK food processing plants, we have found Magnetic Separators that have been:

  • Damaged and no longer have any magnetic strength;
  • Moved and are positioned in such a way that it is very unlikely to capture any metal contamination;
  • Cleaned too infrequently, resulting in a substantial build up of captured metal until the magnet face is full and the Magnetic Separator no longer operates;
  • Purchased and installed without any check of the magnetic strength, which subsequently turns out to the very weak;
  • Installed many years previously and now provides limited protection due to the poor magnetic strength;

To prevent metal contamination problems, it is advisable to have an annual audit by an external third party.  This audit then forms part of the quality and safety management system.

It will be interesting to determine the cause of the latest food recall due to metal contamination, but it will take longer to damage the reputation of the manufacturer Addo Food Group and consumer confidence in the affected products.

For more information on the issue of Metal Contamination and Metal Separation, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

 

 

 

3 Magnet Audits Conducted For Food Safety

Testing Magnetic Separators in Food Processing Plants

In one week, we have conducted Magnetic Separation Audits at three separate UK food processing plants.  The audits form part of the quality management system of each company and are used for both internal and external food quality and safety assessments.

A Magnetic Separation Audit involves the physical testing and inspection of all Magnetic Separators.

Physically Testing the Magnetic Strength

The first part of the inspection assesses the magnetic strength.  This involves using a Pull Test Kit which includes a spring balance and various sizes and shapes of magnetically susceptible steel test pieces.  A Gauss Meter is not used as the readings can be inaccurate and variable.  The physical test involves placing the steel test piece on the surface of the magnet (on a magnetic pole) and measuring the amount of force (in kgs) that is needed to remove the item from the surface of the magnet.  This is then repeated and an average reading recorded.

Visually Assessing the Magnet

The second set of tests involve the visual inspection of the Magnetic Separators and we are checking for:

  • The amount of metal contamination captured by the Magnet;
  • Signs of damage or wear;
  • Weld integrity;
  • Fixings and any related safety issues (e.g. missing restraining nuts);
  • Cleaning regimes and ease of cleaning;

Findings

In the three recent audits there were a number of findings including:

  • Magnetic Separators were in locations where it was extremely difficult to clean and may be considered a safety risk;
  • Welds on a Magnetic Separator had been eaten away by the acidic product resulting in liquid penetrating the Tube Magnet.  This caused the magnets to expand within the stainless steel casing and also destroyed the magnetic field;
  • Damaged Tube Magnets
    Tube Magnets where the welds have failed and liquid has seeped inside the stainless steel casing causing the magnets to expand and lose all magnetic strength
  • The magnetic strength of some Magnetic Separators (especially those that had been installed for some time) was very poor and the level of separation would be minimal;
  • In some locations, Magnetic Separators had been removed from the process but were still registered in the system;
  • The positioning of some Magnetic Separators could be changed to improve the metal separation performance;

Action

Following the Magnetic Separation Audit, a full report, with all the test results, is written and submitted with recommendations.  This then forms part of the food processing company’s internal quality audit system and is refereed to when there are inspections from external third parties and customers.  Commonly the audit is repeated on a annual basis using the same test parameters.

Similar audits are also undertaken in other industries including Plastics Production and Recycling.  An annual health check ensures that the Magnetic Separators are performing to their maximum potential and achieving the separation goals for which they were originally installed.

For more information on the issue of Metal Contamination and Metal Separation, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

6 Metal in Food Safety Scares in 2017

UK Food Standards Agency Reports 6 Metal-in-Food Problems in 2017

Six warnings of UK food being contaminated with metal fragments were reported by the UK Food Standards Agency in 2017.  The food safety warnings ranged from sweets to meat products.

Metal In Food Safety Warnings 2017

Greencore recalled various brands of Chicken and Bacon Caesar Wraps because of concerns that the products contained metal fragments (20 December 2017).  Greencore, as precautionary measure, recalled various brands of Chicken and Bacon Caesar Wraps.  The products, manufactured by Greencore, were sold in Aldi, Co-op Food and Morrisons retail stores.

Athole Tablet Ltd recalled tablet products because of possible contamination by small pieces of metal (31 August 2017).

William Santus & Co recalled Uncle Joe’s Liquorice & Aniseed Extra Strong Mints (35g tins) as there were concerns that the sweets may have contained small pieces of metal (15 May 2017).

Morrisons recalled Trimmed Beans because of the reported presence of small pieces of metal (20 April 2017).

Metal Found In Morrisons Green Beans

Quorn Foods Ltd recalled a batch of its frozen Quorn Meat Free Mince because of the presence of small pieces of metal (2 March 2017).  The affected product was only on sale at Tesco from 27 February 2017 to 1 March 2017.

Lotus Bakeries UK Ltd recalled Lotus Biscoff Crunchy Biscuit Spread because of small metal contamination concerns (2 March 2017).  This product was sold at Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Asda, Waitrose, Ocado and Nisa stores.  In addition, batch number 7005109 with ‘best before’ date 5 February 2018 has also been sold through East End Foods.

How Does Metal Get Into Food?

Metal In Food-1136All of the foods listed have been processed and it is during that process that metal can contaminate the product.  Food entering a process plant will potentially go through stages of washing, size reduction (e.g. cutting, mashing, slicing), mixing, forming, cooking and packaging.  Metal can be introduced from the wear or failure of processing equipment, or through human error.  In fact, it is not uncommon for metal to contaminate food.  However, it is unusual that metal contaminated food reaches the end consumer.

All food companies use a combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to separate and detect the metal.  When metal contaminated products are found to reach the consumer, it can be concluded that this safety equipment failed.

Reviewing the performance of the Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors on a regular basis is important to ensure that any metal contamination problem is identified and dealt with at the factory.  Regular audits will check the integrity of the Magnetic Separators, assessing and recording the magnetic strength and reassessing the location.  Audits for Metal Detectors will check the application, assessing detection sensitivities.

Often such audits find that changes in the process or product (including packaging) mean that the performance of the Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors is no longer optimised.

Thankfully, metal in food safety alerts remain relatively infrequent in the UK, although each one causes significant financial and reputation damage to the producer and food retailer.

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

 

 

 

Fish Cakes Contaminated with Metal

Youngs Seafood Recalls Metal and Plastic Contaminated Fish Cakes 

In February 2018, Young’s Seafood Ltd recalled its Chip Shop Fish Cakes 6 pack due to the possible presence of pieces of metal and plastic in some packs.  The presence of metal and plastic makes this product unsafe to eat and presents a safety risk. The affected product is sold in some Farmfoods and Heron Foods stores.

Youngs is a leading British producer and distributor of frozen, fresh, and chilled seafood, supplying approximately 40% of all the fish eaten in the United Kingdom every year.  However, this product recall damages their brand and customer confidence.

Where Does Metal Contamination Come From?

Metal contamination is commonly found in food processing plants.  It can be present in the food or ingredients delivered to the processing plant, or introduced during the production process.

Food producers use a combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors to ensure that the metal contamination is removed before the final packaged food is despatched to supermarkets and sales outlets.

So How Could This Latest Food Scare Happen?

Youngs is not the first or last major food producer to face a product recall due to metal contamination.  Most food producers have installed suitable Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  However, often the contamination issue is a result of old equipment no longer adequate for the application, a failure of equipment, or a change in the process.

Magnetic Separators do not lose magnetic strength over time unless they are damaged or subjected to high temperatures.  However, it is important to annually check the magnetic strength and integrity of the Magnetic Separators.  This can be easily done using a Magnetic Pull Test Kit as part of a Magnetic Separator Audit.

Bunting Magnetics Pull Test Kit

The Magnetic Separator Audit also reviews changes in the production process and may propose the relocation of some equipment to ensure that maximum protection is maintained.

Metal Detectors are often used later in the process, once the product is made and after packaging.  The settings of the Metal Detector need to be regularly checked, especially if there are changes in the production process, product or packaging.  Also, settings on the Metal Detector may be accidentally altered, reducing the sensitivity and resulting in metal contamination being missed.  Again, an annual Metal Detector Audit will review the performance and settings and ensure that there is maximum protection.

Unfortunately, reports on metal contaminated food are not unusual.  Other examples include:

For more information on preventing Metal Contamination Food Safety Scares, or to arrange a free onsite survey and audit of a particular plant or process, please contact the Bunting team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

42 In Line Magnets Ensure Baby Food Is Metal Free

Magnetic Separators Remove Metal During Baby Food Production

A Baby Food producer based in Germany has purchased a further 14 In Line Magnetic Separators to guarantee a metal-free product.  The latest 14 In Line Magnetic Separators are in additional to 28 already supplied and installed as they equip their food manufacturing plants across Europe.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-9528In Line Magnetic Separators are designed to easily fit into an existing pneumatic or gravity fed pipeline transporting food stuffs.  Both ends are fabricated to connect with the installed pipework.  The central body of the In Line Magnet has a strong Rare Earth Neodymium Plate Magnet.

A key feature of the In Line Magnetic Separator is that there is no restriction to the product flow.  In this particular project, baby food passes through the body of the In Line Magnet and any ferrous or weakly magnetic materials are attracted by the strong magnetic field and then held against the face or the Plate Magnet.

The Plate Magnet has a tapered step, which intensifies the magnetic force and also provides an area to collect rogue metal contamination.

As the Baby Food has chucks of vegetables and meat, it was important that there was no restriction to the product flow where the food could be damaged or blockages could occur.  The Magnetic Liquid Filter, which uses Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets, would not have been suitable for this application.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-9552Periodically, the captured metal is cleaned off the face of the Plate Magnet.  Access is designed to be simple and quick, with the Plate Magnet swinging away from the body on hinges.

All 42 In Line Magnetic Separators are designed for use in pneumatic pipelines up to 15 psi.  They are manufactured from Stainless Steel there are a range of standard sizes available.

For more information on the Pneumatic In-Line Magnet or any Magnetic Separator, please contact our team on:

Phone:  +44 (0) 1442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Reviews of typical food processing plant layouts with suggested locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors include: