Using Metal Detection Test Pieces in the Food Industry Helps Put Safety First

Why Use Metal Detection Test Pieces In The Food Industry?
April 5, 2018
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With the use of metal detection test pieces, food industry executives and workers are showing that they put safety first and that should make consumers feel better. Food product manufacturers need to ensure that their products contain no contaminants. This has become more important in recent years as new instances of food tampering, and food safety issues seem to spring up almost every day.

Using a metal detector may seem like an unusual step in the food industry, where pieces of metal should not be an immediate cause for concern, but any time you have a processing plant where complicated pieces of equipment are regularly used, anything is possible.

The obvious assumption, in this case, is that manufacturing plants should be adhering to strict health and safety standards rendering this kind of extra precaution unnecessary, but that is not necessarily true. The fact is, even the most well-run facility may occasionally have problems with contaminants accidentally falling through the cracks, literally.

The automatic response, then, is to ask where is the contamination coming from and how would the use of metal detection test pieces help to prevent it? Unclean working conditions can certainly be a source of the problem, but that is not always the case. In most cases, contamination is actually caused by the regular degradation of manufacturing equipment. Any time you have metal machinery in regular use, the metal will naturally wear down or break apart over time, and that can result in tiny metal particles falling into the food being processed.

The best way to counter this situation is by using a metal detector to identify and locate these particles before the food reaches consumers. Since food production usually involves the use of a multi-step conveyor system, it is necessary to use a metal detector at various steps along the way and always at the end of this process. In this way, each food item can be carefully scanned to detect the presence of any contaminants. If a foreign substance were found, the entire product would be rejected before it gets shipped and ends up on store shelves.

In general, metal detectors in the food industry use one of two processes: either “balanced coil” or magnetic field detection. With “balanced coil” a series of coils are used to scan foods, with the first coil illuminating any contaminants and the second and third coils detecting them. With a magnetic field system, contaminants are magnetized and then detected by coils. In either case, the metal detection test pieces that the food industry uses are critical.

As with any type of machinery, it is extremely important that metal detectors be tested regularly to make sure they are functioning correctly. This is done by using test pieces made of food grade plastic with small pieces of metal embedded in them. The test pieces are available in various sizes and materials to accommodate different types of equipment.

The test pieces are placed within a group of finished products to ensure proper function, which is then passed through the equipment. If the machinery is working correctly, it should detect the metal in the test pieces. To be doubly sure, you should run the test pieces through the process twice, once at the front of the group of products and once toward the end.

Regal Packaging Services, Inc. provides top quality metal detection test pieces food industry professionals can rely on. Each piece is manufactured with care and certified so our customers can rest assured that they are getting the best quality product, formulated to meet the specific standards of the food industry. Certificates are complimentary and never expire.

Since we know machinery can differ from one company to another, we also customize pieces to fit our customer’s specifications. If you can imagine it, Regal can design and manufacture it. You cannot afford to take chances with your customers and neither can we; that is why Regal goes out of its way to provide only the best test pieces to help keep your metal detectors running smoothly.

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