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Slicing Through Quality Standards

International Cheese Award winners, Long Clawson Dairy, slices through the quality standards of its largest retailers with LOMA SYSTEMS® IQ2 metal detectors.

Long Clawson Dairy was founded in 1911 when twelve farmers from the picturesque Vale of Belvoir formed a co-operative to produce Stilton Cheese in the village of Long Clawson, which is in the heart of Leicestershire. Devoted to producing the best in Stilton cheese, the company is constantly building upon its portfolio which currently boasts over 30 products, including traditional Blue Stilton, Blue Shropshire and Blue Vinney. The company operates from three main sites located in Long Clawson, Harby and Bottesford, all of which play a vital role in delivering the end product to the customer.

The premium cheese manufacturer supplies to major supermarkets throughout the UK including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer. It produces many different sizes of cheese, ranging from small wedges weighing 60g - 650g for supermarkets right up to bulk cheese weighing from 1kg - 8kgs for deli and wholesaler customers.

A fifth of Long Clawson Dairy’s production is also exported to the USA, Canada, Europe and the Far East. With such an impressive customer portfolio, high food safety standards and quality control are
pertinent initiatives.

Long Clawson Dairy’s relationship with LOMA SYSTEMS spans almost fifteen years. It started with two metal detectors positioned at the end of each packaging line, when the cheese has been wrapped securely and has minimal chance of being contaminated. As Long Clawson Dairy’s success has continued to grow, so has its production facility and now its factory at the Long Clawson location runs six production lines.

When extra metal detectors were required to meet increasing levels of demand two years ago, Long Clawson Dairy decided to upgrade all of their systems and selected three manufacturers to review. Price, functionality, service and support were all vital components that Long Clawson Dairy was using for evaluation. After extensive testing, LOMA® proved to be the best to suit Long Clawson Dairy’s needs and its IQ2 machines were selected.

According to Peter Tinsley, Packing Administration Manager at Long Clawson Dairy, “We worked with other inspection system providers in the past, but our experience with their service was disappointing. However, LOMA’s service and support over the years has been second to none. If any complications occur we are safe knowing we have instant support from their service team. Equipment breakdown can equate to hundreds, sometimes even thousands of pounds of lost revenue. Minimizing that downtime is the number one priority. LOMA appreciates that time is of the essence and reacts instantly.”

Stilton has varying levels of salt and water, making the detection of metal contaminants a harder task than usual. This is because these components have similar properties to metal, meaning it is essential for metal detectors to be able to accurately compensate for adverse effects. Tinsley continues, “We needed to be sure that our operators could reset all systems with ease. LOMA’s metal detectors take no time to calibrate and perfectly suit our demands for accuracy and user friendliness.”

LOMA’s metal detectors at Long Clawson Dairy have lockable reject bins to ensure that no rejected product can be returned to production flow. This functionality supports Long Clawson Dairy’s health and safety standards as the locked bin prevents safety issues.

In addition to the metal detectors at the end of each packing line, the cheese goes through another 1Q2 system prior to the cutting stage. This is to safeguard the ultrasonic blade which, if comes into contact with metal, would be damaged and bring production to a halt, not to mention the cost of replacement.

Supermarkets operating on a national scale require their suppliers to meet specific health and safety criteria. Long Clawson Dairy is no exception and must prove to their customers that processes are in place to meet HACCP standards. HACCP forms a key part of Long Clawson Dairy’s due diligence process. The quality control department checks the IQ2 systems every thirty minutes, putting test cases through each one to confirm operating levels. Every performance is recorded at the end of each day.

Peter comments, “Our customers expect us to adhere to rigid health and safety standards to minimise any chance of contaminants slipping through the net. We must therefore safeguard our
business and our customer’s business by meeting such regulations. In fact, penalties can be imposed by multiples if a product has to be withdrawn due to injury to the end user, so it is
essential that we go to all lengths to prevent this from happening. Ultimately, the more reliable the systems on the production line are, the more we are able to protect our investment.”
Peter concluded, “LOMA meets all of our contaminant detection requirements and our 15 year partnership is testament to that. LOMA’s service, support, communication and reliability are
fantastic and I have no doubt they will continue to support us moving forward.”