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

 

 

 

Getting Metal Out of Beer

Ideal Locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in a Brewery

Thankfully, it is very unlikely that you will ever find a piece of metal in your glass of beer.  However, when tramp metal in the form of screws and nails is accidentally introduced during the brewing process, it damages processing equipment and can even affect the taste of the beer.  In this article we look at the best methods of ensuring that the brewing process is unaffected by tramp metal.

Bunting_Magnetics_Europe_Brewery_Plant

As with any food process, there are many locations where metal can be inadvertently introduced.  With raw materials being collected from the fields and then transported to the brewery in large trucks, contamination by metal and other materials is unavoidable.

Here we look at a typical brewery and identify where Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors could be located to remove any metal contamination.

Location 1 – Malt In-feed Line

When the malt is delivered by truck or rail, it is commonly pneumatically transported into storage silos.  A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet and/or Metal Detector would ensure that any tramp metal in the raw material feed is removed prior to storage.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-2

A Pneumatic In-Line Magnet is designed to easily fit into a pipeline without causing any obstruction.  It has a magnetically strong Plate Magnet mounted on one side which attracts and holds any ferrous metal.  This is then manually removed on a regular frequency.

The Metal Detector identifies and then ejects any remaining metal contamination, both ferrous and non-ferrous.  As most metal contamination at this stage is ferrous, installing the Metal Detector after the In-Line Magnet reduces the amount of metal detection rejects and thus reduces the loss of product.

Location 2 – Prior to Milling

cartridge_magnetsGrate Magnets are commonly positioned in or above the in-feed hopper to the mill, especially if there has been no previous metal separation or detection.  A Grate Magnet is a series of Tube Magnets designed in a grid to fit inside a hopper.  For maximum protection of the mill, the Grate Magnet uses a set of high magnetic strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets.  Such protection ensures that no tramp metal enters the mill where it can cause serious and expensive damage.

Location 3 – Hot Water Feed to Mash Tun

Bunting Magnetic Liquid TrapWater is a common source of metal contamination in food processing plants and is also the one in-feed material that is often overlooked.  The nature of water means that rust is common and a simple Magnetic Liquid Trap is used to attract and capture any rogue ferrous metal, even in a very fine form.  A Magnetic Liquid Trap is designed to be easily introduced into a pipeline, with flanges or any other connector.  Inside the body, high strength Rare Earth Neodymium Tube Magnets project down into the material flow, attracting and capturing any ferrous or weakly magnetic materials.  The Tube Magnets are removed from the process and manually cleaned.

Location 4 – Between Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle

Magnetic Liquid Traps could also be located between the Mash Tun, Lauter Tun and Brew Kettle, especially is there has been limited protection earlier in the process.

Location 5 – Hops In-feed Line

Protection is important whenever raw materials are introduced into the process and Grate Magnets and a Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that hops entering the brew kettle are metal-free.  This design of Metal Detector is for free-fall material.  As the material enters the metal detector, any metal is detected and then automatically rejected.  The Grate Magnet reduces the amount of material lost during the rejection process by removing any ferrous metal.

Location 6 – Between Brew Kettle and Whirlpool/Settling Tank

After the brew kettle , a Magnetic Liquid Trap, with special Neodymium magnets designed to withstand high temperatures, will provide final protection prior to settling.

Location 7 – Yeast In-feed Line

As on the hops in-feed line, a combination of a Grate Magnet and Quicktron Metal Detector will ensure that any metal does not enter the process.

Location 8 – Between Conditioning Tank and Filter

To protect the filter, a Magnetic Liquid Trap is often installed after the conditioning tank.

Location 9 – Prior to Bottling

p-TRON-GM-V2As in many food processing plants, it is good practice to install a Metal Detector (in this case a P-Tron) at the final stage of the process.  This provides a final stage of protection to ensure that any metal introduced into the process from damaged processing equipment such as the filter or in the pipes is detected and removed.

This is a typical example of a Brewing Operation.  However, each plant is unique and often a site visit is required to assess and recommend the best ways to ensure a metal-free end product.

For further information on removing Metal during the brewing process using Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact the Bunting technical sales team on:

Other Food Plant Reviews include:

Bunting_Magnetics_Europe_Brewery_Plant

 

 

 

Review of the Bulk Solids and Powders Industry in Poland

Tom Higginbottom Reports Following Attending the SyMas Exhibition

Last week, our Sales Engineer Tom Higginbottom spent 2-days at the SyMas Bulk Solids and Powders exhibition in Krakow, Poland with Bunting’s local representative, TEKPRO.  Whilst at the show, he gained an insight into the present state of the market and potential opportunities for UK exporters.Bunting_at_SyMas17-17

Tom gives us his insight in the show, local feelings about BREXIT, and the market in general

“SyMas was a really good show with a busy footfall.  There was a lot of equipment on show, from manufacturers based all over the world.

From the type of enquiries and from talking to clients and our distributor, it is clear that the bulk solids and powders sector is growing.  Despite being a member of the EU, Poland remains an emerging nation and wages are still lower than in more developed European countries like the UK, Germany and France, but that gap is closing.  Their skill base is very high and consistently improving.

There is a lot of Western European investment and many of the manufacturing facilities are state-of-the-art.  This matched with the lower wage cost and workforce skills make the Poles very competitive in both European and global markets.

It was interesting speaking with the Poles about the UK leaving the European Union.  Generally, people thought that being a part of the EU makes it possible to compete with larger economies such as China and the USA.  Brexit has introduced an unknown factor and there was a feeling that, without the UK, the EU would have less negotiating power on the world stage.SyMas Tube Magnets 2

I think that the growth of our local representative TEKPRO highlights the expanding market and potential opportunities in Poland.  Since they were founded 10 years ago, they have expanded their workforce from 4 to 84 people.  It is an exciting time and we are working closely with them to maximise our sales potential in Poland.

At the show we received enquiries for both Magnetic Separator and Metal Detectors, including 3 specific projects where clients require Pneumatic Self Clean Drawer Filter Magnets and Drum Magnets.

Attending the SyMas show was really worthwhile and allowed me to gain an insight into the market which simply is not possible without being at the exhibition.

krakow

And Krakow was a beautiful city.  I have never been before and found the people wonderfully friendly and the historical buildings beautiful.”

For further information on removing metal contamination from bulk goods, powders and granules with Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on:

Other relevant Bulk Goods, Powders and Granules Articles

 

The Challenges of Removing Fine Iron from Powders

Magnetic Separators Designed for Processing Powders

Removing metal contamination when the tramp metal and material is granular is far more straightforward than when in a powder form.  To determine the best solution to remove fine iron contamination from powders, it is necessary to have a good understanding of the way the fine materials behave.

Powders are produced and used in a wide variety of industries including food, pharmaceuticals, refractories, and chemicals.  It is estimated that 80% of materials used in industry are in a powdered form.

flour-791840_960_720A ‘powder’ is defined as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance.  The nature of a powder means that the handling and processing tends to be problematic as powders exhibit similar properties to both solids and liquids.

Metal contamination, commonly in an iron form, can be introduced into a material at any stage within a process.  Tramp metal that is undetected and remains in the product before the powder production stage, becomes significantly reduced in size and, subsequently, increasingly difficult to extract.

Magnetically susceptible metal contamination (i.e. iron) is commonly removed using Magnetic Separation Equipment, which traps metal using Ceramic Ferrite or Rare Earth Neodymium Iron Boron (Neodymium) Magnets.  Although there are Magnetic Separators where the magnetic field is produced via an electrical current, the vast majority utilize permanent magnets such as Ceramic Ferrite and Rare Earth Neodymium Iron Boron (Neodymium).  Ceramic Ferrite Magnets produce low strength but deep magnetic fields, while Neodymium Magnets create the strongest permanent magnetic presently commercially available.

Where Does The Metal Originate?

Metal contamination commonly originates in a powder from two sources:

  1. Primary large tramp metal, such as a nail, screw or bolt;Tube Cartridge Magnets Bunting Magnetics-5
  2. Primary or Secondary fine tramp iron. Primary fine iron or magnetic particles are often present in the raw material.  This originates from primary processing, transportation, or even naturally occurs in the original material.  Secondary fine iron originates from a larger tramp metal source that has been reduced in size during the process.  Typically, this could be from a nail, screw or bolt that has been through a size reduction process, or from damaged or worn processing equipment.  Another common source of secondary fine iron contamination is rust, falling into the process from weathered and worn processing equipment such as chains, hoists, and building cladding.

The separation and detection of tramp metal is easier when the metal contamination is in a larger form and can be successfully removed using a wide range of suitable Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  Magnetic Separators using standard strength Ceramic magnets, with deep magnetic fields, are ideal.  A good example is the Plate Magnet, often installed in a chute, in a housing, or as part of an In-Line Magnetic Separator.

Quicktron05A_Sodium Bicarbonate 2

Larger metal contamination is also easier to detect on a Metal Detector.  Metal is detected as it passes through the coil of the Metal Detector and an automatic reject system removes it from the flow.  For detection, the magnetic field generated by the Metal Detector has to see a state change.  Finer sized metal produces a lesser state change and thus increases the difficulty in detection.

In a project in Pakistan, a processor of fine Sodium Bicarbonate is using a Quicktron Metal Detector to remove the larger tramp metal.

Removing larger tramp metal with a Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector prior to the processing stage not only prevents the metal from being reduced in size (e.g. converted into a secondary source of fine iron contamination), but also protects delicate processing equipment such as granulators, shredders, and mills from being damaged by the metal.

Once in a powder form, there are processing parameters to consider when assessing the optimum method to remove fine iron contamination.

How Does a Powder Flow?

When a powder is sprinkled, it remains light and free.  However, when the same powder is vibrated or compressed, it may become very dense and even lose the ability to flow.

Individual grains in a powder cling to each other in clumps, in accordance with the Van der Waals force.  This coagulation often results in the fine iron being trapped in among clean product.  The ability of any Magnetic Separator to attract, hold and separate the fine iron is dependent on the iron being as close to the magnetic field as is physically possible.  If the fine iron contacts the surface of a Magnetic Separator with a high strength magnetic field, it will be held.  However, when the fine iron is held inside a coagulation of powder, then it could be held out of the reach of the maximum magnetic force.  Thus, it will not be separated.

The way a powder flows impacts on the design of the Magnetic Separator.  Powders flowing in a hopper may experience classic flow problems such as ratholing, bridging or flooding, all of which could be exacerbated by the design of Magnetic Separator.

Different Designs of Magnetic Separator

Plate Magnets Bunting Magnetics-9797High strength magnetic fields, as produced by Neodymium, are needed to capture fine iron metal contamination.  There are four main magnet configurations suitable for handling powders.

  1. Tube Magnets (also known as Rod Magnets and Cartridge Magnets), often in a multi-rod Grate configuration;
  2. Flat-faced Magnetic Plates;
  3. Cone-shaped Magnets;
  4. Magnetic Drums with a curved magnetic arc;

Although occasionally a Tube Magnet may be used on its own, it is more commonly part of a larger multi-cartridge Grate system.  The Magnetic Grate is designed to fit inside a hopper, or can be supplied complete with a housing (i.e. as a Drawer Filter Magnet).ff-neo-4

In operation, powder falls freely onto the surface of the Tube Magnet where fine iron strikes the surface and is held by the strong magnetic field.  To ensure that the powder makes contact with the Cartridge surface, deflectors are often deployed above the gaps between the Cartridges.

Powder build-up on the surface of a Magnetic Cartridge will reduce the separation efficiency.  Also, in severe cases, a slight build up on the surface of the Cartridge may quickly cause a blockage of the whole housing.

Such blockages can be prevented by ensuring that there is optimum space between the Magnetic Cartridges.  Also, in some cases, the mounting of an external vibrating motor on the side of the hopper or housing will provide enough disturbance to prevent any material coagulation.  The frequency of the vibration needs careful consideration as it could affect the flow ability of the powder.  Additionally, when vibrators are used, the Magnetic Cartridges need to be manufactured to withstand prolonged periods of vibration.

Bunting Teardrop Tube Magnet

‘Teardrop’ shaped Tube Magnets are specifically designed to stop the build-up of fine powder on the surface.  The sharp edge of the teardrop faces up into the product flow and allows material to flow around the edge and into the magnetic field.  Magnetic particles are captured and held underneath the Tube Magnet.

Flat-faced Magnetic Plates are ideal when it is possible for the material to flow over the surface.  For fine iron removal, the Magnetic Plates would use high strength Neodymium Magnets.  This magnetic field is further enhanced when a Tapered Step is added to the face of the magnet.  Captured iron migrates behind the step and away from the material flow, reducing the risk of re-entering the cleansed product.

As well as being fitted into chutes, Magnetic Plates are incorporated into housings.  The Plate Housing Magnets resist bridging and choking to remove tramp iron and ferrous fines from flow-resistant bulk materials.  The stainless steel housings mount easily to enclosed spouting or directly on processing equipment.

There are optional square, rectangular, and round adapters for easy connection to existing chute work.  A baffle at the top of the housing helps break up clumps and directs product flow over the unit’s two powerful Plate Magnets.

Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet

Plate Magnets are also used in In-Line Magnets and there are two designs:

  1. Gravity In-Line Magnets (GIM) – The Plate Magnets are positioned in round, sloping spouting where material is under gravity flow.  For effective tramp metal capture, the spouting should be angled no more than 60° from horizontal;
  2. Pneumatic In-Line Magnets (PIM) – These designs are for use in dilute phase pneumatic conveying systems (up to 15psi). They can be installed easily with optional factory-supplied compression couplings and work best in horizontal runs with the plate magnet down to take advantage of material stratification;

Another design of In-Line Magnet is the Center-Flow, although the magnetic field is generated in a Cone configuration instead of a Plate.  The Magnetic Cone is positioned in the center of the housing, allowing the powder to flow in the space left between the housing.  Center-Flow In-Line Magnetic Separators are commonly used in dilute-phase pneumatic conveying lines up to 15psi.

To achieve optimum contact with the product flow, a conical magnet is suspended in the center-line of the housing.  This tapered, exposed-pole cartridge has a stainless steel “nose cone” to direct the flow of materials around the magnet.  The tapered poles of the cone magnet allow ferrous fines to collect out of the direct air stream.  Additionally, the trailing end of the magnet is an active magnetic pole and holds any tramp metal that is swept down the cone.

Both types of In-Line Magnet are designed with clamps and doors to enable easy access for cleaning.

drumIn specific applications, a high strength Neodymium Drum Magnet will enable the best level of separation.  The Drum Magnet is gravity-fed, usually via a Vibratory Feeder.  The Drum Magnet has a stationary high-strength magnetic arc positioned inside a rotating outer shell.  When material flows onto the drum magnet, the magnetic field projected by the stationary magnetic assembly inside the shell captures fine iron and holds it securely to the drum’s stainless steel surface.  With contaminants removed, the good product falls freely to a discharge point.  As the drum rotates, the captured fine iron travels along the drum surface and out of the magnetic field, where it is discharged.

There are various magnetic field configurations possible, but the most suitable for removing iron from powder is one that produces a Radial Magnetic Field.  This ensures that once captured, the fine iron does not leave the Drum surface until it moves out of the magnetic field.

Processing powder on a Drum Magnet presents more difficulties that other designs of Magnetic Separators.  Firstly, it is recommended that the Vibratory Feeder has an air bed to produce a consistent feed of powder.  Standard Vibratory Feeders may deliver powder in clumps, significantly affecting the separation performance.

Secondly, the shell of the Drum Magnet should be rotated at high speeds.  This will result in some of the powder pluming, and this can be minimized by keeping the distance between the end of the Vibratory Feeder Tray and the rotating surface of the Drum Magnet to a minimum.

The high rotation speed of the Drum Magnet significantly reduces the amount of product lost to the magnetics.  This is because there is less material on the surface of the Drum at any one time, reducing the chance of entrapment.

The use of Drum Magnets operating at high rotational speeds has been very successful in removing fine iron from abrasives, refractories, and other applications where the material has a high specific gravity.

Ensuring Powder is Metal-Free

As the demand for finer and purer powders increases, so does the need to remove even the finest iron.  Understanding the properties and behavior of the powder is vitally important when considering the optimum method of fine iron separation.  Often the ultimate solution is a series of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors located at strategic points within the process.

For further information on removing fine metal contamination from powders with Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors please contact us on:

Ingesting Metal Fragments Can Cause Injury states the FDA

Solving the Problem of Metal Contamination in Food

In a 10 page document, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declares that metal fragments in food may cause dental damage, lacerations of the mouth or throat, or laceration or perforation of the intestine.  They do not mention the untold damage to a company’s reputation and the subsequent financial damages.  Only last month (February 2017), PetSmart in the USA recalled dog food over a potential metal choking hazard.

It is nearly impossible to stop metal fragments entering a process line.  Processing equipment will wear, especially with metal-to-metal contact, and there will be equipment failures (e.g. valves, screens, conveyors, etc.).  Once that fact is accepted, then a solution to the problem of removing and detecting that metal before it reaches the consumer can be found.

Tube Cartridge Magnets Bunting Magnetics-7

Several methods of metal removal are employed of which Magnetic Separation and Metal Detection are the most common.  The effectiveness of this equipment is dependent on the nature of the product, the location of installation and the maintenance.  Well-planned and executed maintenance, especially with planned Magnetic Separator cleaning schedules, will ensure that metal separation levels are maintained for the long term.

Magnetic SeparatorsBunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-16

Magnetic Separation is commonly used to remove metal from liquids and free flowing solids or powders.  By positioning the Magnetic Separator in the process (i.e. inside a pipeline or chute), magnetically susceptible metal (such as ferrous metal and abraded or work hardened stainless steel) is attracted by the magnetic field and then held on the surface of the magnet.  There are many different designs of Magnetic Separator and strengths of magnet to suit different applications and locations.

Quicktron05A_Sodium Bicarbonate 2Metal Detectors

Metal Detection can also be used as part of a separator, whereby metal is detected and then rejected immediately.  This is often used in free fall locations, but can result in high losses of product.  More commonly, Metal Detection is installed at the end of the process either just before or/and after the product has been packaged and packed.

Guidance to Address Metal Contamination

The FDA document is very helpful and even outlines ways to determine if the potential metal contamination hazard is significant.  Continuous monitoring and verification form key parts of the metal contamination management plan.  Regular and planned checks on the Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors are vitally important to ensure that the level of separation and detection performance is maintained over time.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) give specific guidance on the issue of metal inclusion or contamination on their website. 

Typical Food Process Line

To assist food manufacturers assess the optimum ways to address metal contamination, we have produced a series of Flow Sheets.  These show typical locations for both Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.

For more information or a metal contamination site survey by our trained sales engineers, please contact our team on:

Phone:  01442 875081

Email:  sales@buntingeurope.com

Via the website

Getting Metal Out of Pet Food

A Guide to the Ideal Location for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors in a Pet Food Processing Plant

Ensuring Pet Food is metal free before it reaches the consumer is critical.  However, reports of foods being recalled due to metal contamination occur several times each year [Sainsbury warns of Metal in Bread, Jan 2016].  To assist processors and producers, Bunting has developed a series of typical plant flowsheets showing proposed locations for Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  This blog reviews a flowsheet for a typical Pet Food Processing Plant.

BUNT-2910 Perfect Plants 5

The flowsheet shows material being fed into the plant through to packaging and shipment to retailers.  The type and location of the Metal Separation equipment is detailed as follows:

  1. Infeed Material
    • Dry Side – Dry materials are often fed into the plant from transportation via a pneumatic line.  To remove ferrous metals (eg nuts, bolts, nails, etc) then a Pneumatic Inline Magnet is recommended.  Additionally, after storage in the primary silo, the dry material is passed through a Plate Housing Magnet before being mixed with any other materials, such as meat;
    • Meat Side – After discharge from the transportation, material is commonly fed up a conveyor.  Positioned above the conveyor to lift and remove larger ferrous metal is a Suspended Plate Magnet and this is then followed by a Metron C Metal Detector to identify any non-ferrous metals such as stainless steel.  This ensures that no metal is fed into the grinder where is could damage equipment and also be fragmented into smaller parts that are more difficult to detect and remove;
  2. After 1st Stage Mixing
    • After mixing, when the material is now in a slurry form, a Magnetic Liquid Trap with high strength Rare Earth Magnets is ideal to remove any smaller ferrous metals and any metal that originates from the wear of processing equipment;
    • Bunting Magnetic Liquid Trap
  3. On the Wet Line prior to Canning
    1. To ensure a metal-free product prior to canning, a P-Tron-O Metal Detector can be used on the line to detect and remove smaller ferrous and non-ferrous metals;
  4. On the Dry Line prior to Bagging
    1. After extrusion and just prior to bagging or insertion into cartons or boxes, a Quicktron Metal Detector is ideal to detect and remove any smaller remaining ferrous and non-ferrous metals;
    2. As a final check, the filled and sealed bags are commonly passed through a Metron C Metal Detector which can detect metal inside a package;

The type and design of Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector and the recommended location has been determined following several decades of working with food producers and processors all over the world.  There are always variations to plant designs and layouts that mean different types of Metal Separation equipment is needed and an onsite review by a Bunting engineer will help ascertain the best solution.

For further information on removing Metal from a Pet Food processing plant using Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, please contact the Bunting technical sales team on:

Phone: +44 (0) 1442 875081
Fax: +44 (0) 1442 875009
Email: sales@buntingeurope.com
Web: http://www.buntingeurope.com

Plate Magnet Bunting Magnetics-9805.jpg

Sainsbury Warns of Metal in Bread

Another News Story About Metal Contamination in Food

Sainsbury has recalled bread that potentially contains fragments of metal, reports Food Manufacture.  The announcement was made on Monday 18th January after a warning from their bread supplier.

Bread-6

Food recalls due to metal contamination are far too frequent (The Damage of Metal Contaminated Food – September 2015), especially when there is a range of technology to remove and detect metal at various stages within a food manufacturing process.

So what exactly is the problem?

The vast majority of major food processors have installed technology to remove and detect metal including Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.  Magnetic Separators are commonly used early in a process, removing metal from ingredients (e.g. in the case of bread, from flour and grains), whilst Metal Detectors are able to identify metal contained in finished products (e.g. in a final loaf of bread, even after packaging).

Whilst working closely with food processors, a number of potential issues have been identified including:

  • Changes in the process.  Every time a process changes then the metal separation and detection technology needs reviewing.  Adjustments may be necessary to maintain the level of protection against metal contamination including relocating equipment, resetting sensitivities or installing additional equipment;
  • Changes in the technology.  Magnetic Separators have a very long life, but technological developments with magnets means that newer models are stronger and enable far better and higher levels of metal separation;
  • Damage to in-situ equipment.  Installed equipment can get damaged or even lost over time and needs to be regularly checked as part of a Quality Audit to ensure that all separation and detection systems are in place;
  • Correct use and maintenance of installed equipment.  This could be as simple as Magnetic Separators not being cleaned (and, therefore, no longer captures metal) and new workers not being trained sufficiently to correct operate a Metal Detector.

Some food suppliers, such as UK retailer Marks & Spencer, introduced vigorous checking procedures to address and prevent metal contamination problems.  They stipulated that to be part of their food supply chain, suppliers had to have Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors installed and that these had to be audited annually.

Subsequently, we [Bunting Magnetics] support many food producers and processors, assessing and reviewing their processes and production lines to advise on the best way to prevent contamination from metal.  These Metal Separation Audits give companies reassurance, but also helps them continually improve.  An audit commonly does not result in a need for additional equipment, but to more effectively utilise what is already installed.

Only one thing is certain and that is the continued presence of metal at some stage or stages in a food process.  The key to preventing product recalls due to metal contamination, such as the one announced by Sainsbury on Monday, is to have the best possible Magnetic Separation and Metal Detection technology installed and to undertake regular and vigorous reviews.

For further information please contact Bunting on:

The Damage of Metal Contaminated Food

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.

Eating FoodMetal 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.Bunting Magnetics In Line Magnet-24

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:

Tel:  01442875081

Email:  carltonhicks@buntingeurope.com

Contact via the website

Metal Shards Contaminate Frozen Meat

Product Recall due to Metal ContaminationBunting in the USA report that consumers across the U.S. should check their refrigerators for recently recalled frozen meat products. A California company has been forced to recall frozen beef and pork products after a shard of metal wire was found in one of the products by an Illinois restaurant, the Honolulu Star Advertiser reported.

That single wire has forced the company to take back over 48,000 pounds of meat, and undoubtedly forced a painful financial loss. This type of issue is also completely avoidable. Food inspection that incorporates Metal Detection can eliminate metal shard contamination and protect consumers from the health risks caused by metal ingestion. It also prevents the sort of costly recalls and reputation damage that can cripple a food producer.

A tool to prevent injuries
There are several ways for metal fragments to end up in food, and these metal pieces are often difficult to see with the naked eye. Malfunctioning machinery can insert a metal powder into foods or bristles can break off metal brushes used to clean manufacturing equipment and find their way into food.

Food Quality and Safety points out that Metal Detection systems are useful because they save food producers the substantial amount of money that would be lost in sales and replacement costs during a recall. Accidental metal contamination is a well-known risk during food production. Metal detection ensures that this problem does not injure anyone.

Recycling In England Slowly Inches Up To 44.2% – CIWM Journal December 2014

Discarded Toner and Laser Cartridges at BCMY“Recycling In England Slowly Inches Up To 44,2%” (Article in CIWM December 2014 issue page 8). The article discusses the 2013 recycling rates in England and the increase by 0.1% on 2012. Initial indications show that rates in the first part of 2014 have increased to 44.5%. So how does England compare with their EU neighbours?

The European Environment Agency (EEA) produced figures for the EU countries which can be seen on their website.  Austria and Germany lead the way with 63% and 62% respectively, with Belgium (58%), The Netherlands (51%) and Switzerland (51%) all exceeding the 50% mark.

However, the CIWM Journal also reports (December 2014 page 7) that recycling in Wales for 2013-14 has reached 54.3% and in Northern Ireland is 45.2%.

Italy (36%), France (35%) and Spain (33%) are all languishing behind the countries in the UK.

With many European companies facing economic pressures, maybe a focus on increased recycling rates would help boost the economies.

Supporting recycling initiatives is a key focus for Bunting Magnetics Europe Ltd in 2015 and details of projects where they have installed Magnetic Separation Equipment to separate and recover metals can be read on the news section of their website including the article on how the UK company BCMY is using a Bunting Drum Magnet to process and recycle old laser and toner cartridges that can no longer be reused.