How To Pass a Detector Audit

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Detector Audit

Pass Your Metal Detector Audit

Operating SensitivityHow to Pass a Detector Audit

In the food industry, a detector audit is a necessary part of the standard operation procedures.  Regal Packaging can help. Stringent food safety guidelines (USDA, FDA, GFSI and FSMA) require the use of metal detectors.  This prevents costly recalls and protect consumers. By following these guidelines companies can help save themselves time, money and bad publicity.

No matter how careful a company is, there can still be problems if their detection system breaks down.  Both the machinery used in production and the detectors themselves can break down over time.  This opens the door to potential contamination.  So it is crucial to have regular audits.  This ensures that metal detectors continue to function properly and that provide certification for the governing bodies as well as the consumer.

Figuring out how to ensure that equipment passes a detector audit is something all food manufacturers need to focus on.  The more you maintain the safety of your products, the better off both you and your customers will be.  That means running tests and making sure that your detectors are picking up on potential contaminants and automatically rejecting them.

The Audit

During a metal detector audit, a product sample containing certified test pieces must pass through the detector without a reject.  This usually means a successful run multiple times.  If the detector is working properly it will identify the test piece and automatically reject the test pack each time. The auditor is not only checking the detector but also it’s interaction with the reject mechanism.  A detector may recognize the metal, but it has to be rejected.  Otherwise, the problem may go down the line while you think everything is safe.  Not only does the reject mechanism need to engage, but it has to remove the right box (bag or other container) at the right time.  If the timing is off, the system may be rejecting good product while leaving contaminant on the production line.

On a regular basis,  you need to calibrate your detector to the product and environment.  That means passing product you know is uncontaminated through the detector at the best sensitivity without the detector rejecting the product.  Once that’s set, you can determine the lowest possible sizes of contaminant that will be detected in your product.  Those values, ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel 316, should be written into your Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan and those sizes available for regular testing. 

According to HACCP principles, detectors should be positioned at various points throughout the production line.  This ensures that contaminants are found and isolated as early as possible.  Typically, your program(s) will include an audit by a 3rd Party Inspector.  Our inspection experts ( can meet that need if you’re in Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa or Indiana.

Test Pieces

Using test pieces of different metals and in various sizes (and/or shapes) makes for a thorough and complete detector audit.  That way you can be sure that your detector is working to identify any possible contaminant. The better the quality of the test pieces you use, the more certain you can be of obtaining valid results.  And you should be prepared when an auditor asks to see the certification paperwork on your test pieces.  

Testing should be done on all types of metal detectors: conveyor, gravity fed or pipeline as well as x-ray systems.  The type of detector will dictate how an audit is performed. For conveyor fed systems, a test piece is placed inside the product, which is then inserted into the production line.  For gravity fed or pipeline systems, a test piece is inserted directly into the flow of loose product.

Passing the Audit

In order to pass a detector audit, you need to make sure that your equipment is regularly maintained.  In addition, the test pieces you use must be the highest, certified quality to ensure accurate results.  Regal offers only the best test pieces, designed to meet the exact specifications of your equipment and with individual certification. We give you the tools to be prepared for an audit.  In addition, if you run into a certification problem in the middle of an audit, we make it simple to download certificates.  You can also shoot us a quick email at or call our number – 866-691-8560

You can’t afford even one contaminated product reaching your customers, so you need to make sure that you follow all food safety guidelines including performing regular detector audits.  With quality test pieces from Regal Packaging, you’ll be able to pass every audit and provide your customers with products they can trust. If you’re company is in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana or Iowa and you need a metal detector audit, reach out to us at

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