A detector audit is a necessary part of the standard operation procedures of any company, particularly those in the food industry. Stringent food safety guidelines such as those put into place by the USDA, FDA, GFSI and FSMA require the use of metal detectors to prevent 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 about using metal detectors, there can still be problems if their detection system breaks down. Since both the machinery used in production and the detectors themselves can break down over time, opening the door to potential contamination, it is crucial to have regular audits in order to ensure 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 can do to maintain the safety of your products, the better off both you and your customers will be in the long run. That means running tests and making sure that your detectors are picking up on potential contaminants and automatically rejecting them.
Metal detector audits consist of passing a sample (packaged or otherwise) of a product containing a certified ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel test piece, through the detector, usually 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 it’s interaction with the reject mechanism. A detector may recognize the metal, but if it’s not rejected in time, the problem may go down the line ever though you think everything is safe.
According to the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), detectors should be positioned at various points throughout the production line to ensure that contaminants are found and isolated as early as possible.
Using test pieces of different metals and in various sizes and 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 with all of the common types of metal detectors, whether conveyor fed, 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 a pack 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.
In order to pass a detector audit, you need to make sure that your equipment is regularly maintained and the test pieces you use are of the highest, certified quality to ensure accurate results. Regal Packaging Services offers only the best test pieces, designed to meet the exact specifications of your particular equipment and with individual certification to ensure durability. 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, shoot us a quick email or call our number (866) 691-8560 to get exactly what you need.
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 within a 5 hour drive from Chicago and you need a metal detector audit, reach out to us at detectoraudits.com – 800-976-2390.