Food Safety Scare with Metal Contaminated Meat in USA
One single metal fragment has resulted in the recall of 30 tonnes of ground beef in Texas, USA, reports Food Safety News.
The cost of that single metal fragment is significant. Not only are there the direct costs, loss of profits and any damages costs payable to their customers, but there is also the negative impact of bad press on the company’s reputation and image with the potential loss of orders and customers. All this due to the presence of one single item of metal.
Sadly, reports about metal contaminated food frequently hit the headlines and this latest Food Safety scare follows:
- Sainsbury and Morrisons recall chocolate eclairs due to metal contamination;
- Sainsbury warns of metal in bread;
- The damage of metal contaminated food;
- Metal shards contaminate frozen meat;
Can Metal Contamination Be Prevented?
Metal is both removed and detected during the food manufacturing process using a combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors. Some food manufacturers also use Infra-Red and X-Ray to check for any item of foreign body contamination including plastic and metal.
However, the vast majority of food processing plants use Magnetic Separator and Metal Detectors. Unfortunately, having the right equipment does not always mean that the best solution is in place. The location and the maintenance of the Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector are vital to maintain optimum performance. Annual reviews for preventing metal contamination are positive ways of ensuring that equipment is checked, assessing the functionality of the Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector as well as the location. Questions can be asked. Has there been a change in the process? How frequently are the Magnetic Separators cleaned? Has the sensitivity of any of the Metal Detectors being changed?
To help in assessing the best way to prevent metal contamination, we have produced a series of installation guides, assessing typical plant layouts for specific food types and identifying both the location and the type of Magnetic Separator and Metal Detector. These include:
Additional installation guides for other foods will be released in the coming months.
Metal contamination can be prevented! For more information please contact the Bunting team: