Are you making food safety your number one new years resolution
21 Feb 2018
With the new year breaking, what is the main focus within your food production environment?
According to research into FSA product recalls by insurance broker, Locktons, the number of cases of foreign bodies, such as glass, plastics, wood and metal, in products on shelves increased by 350% between 2012 and 2017, with UK food and beverage manufacturers citing cost cutting in the production process as biggest cause of recalls due to price pressure from retailers and consumers.
In light of these statistics, we urge food manufacturers to make a New Year’s resolution to ensure food safety remains firmly at the top of the corporate agenda during 2018. The research showed that out of all the FSA recalls over the past five years, the presence of choking hazards were the most common cause of products being pulled, with nearly one in four (23%) of recalls occurring due to a foreign body being found.
With supermarkets’ codes of practice (COP) increasingly specifying X-ray as a route to improve food safety and quality, many food manufacturers are under significant pressure to adopt the technology. However, the perceived complexity of X-ray inspection systems and associated costs of installation and maintenance have also been major barriers to processing plants embracing the technology.
Combined with increasing use of foil packaging and trays by manufacturers to better preserve and present food products, the demands of the COP have led to conventional technologies such as ferrous-in-foil metal detectors to become virtually obsolete.
However, the main barriers to food manufacturers embracing X-ray machines has been the perceived complexity of the systems and cost of procuring, installing, operating and maintaining them.
There has been a reluctance to adopt X-ray technology despite major benefits including the ability to detect metal contaminants to levels equal or better than equivalent metal detectors and identification of a wider variety of foreign body contamination.
It offers many product design improvements and has simplified and reduced the overhead costs of X-ray systems for manufacturers, whilst offering safety, durability, flexibility, and user friendliness.