Physical contaminants in food are a global safety concern. In key markets such as the UK and the US, there have been high-profile cases of foreign bodies such as metal, plastic and glass entering the food chain. Such incidents, accidental or intentional, are rare, yet they can represent a considerable risk to consumer health.
Incidents of physical contaminants in food can also have a detrimental impact on brand reputation. The resultant bad publicity and loss of customer confidence is hugely damaging and can be extremely difficult to manage. Furthermore, if contaminated food reaches the market, it can lead to costly recalls, and result in expensive fines.
Often, the quality and safety of food products depends on the level of due diligence exercised during the production process, in order to exclude physical contaminants from the finished goods. The choice of protection and inspection equipment has a significant impact on product quality, safety and consumer confidence. Of the inspection choices manufacturers face, a key one is whether to install a metal detection system, an x-ray inspection system, or both.
This white paper describes the many different types of physical contamination in food and explains how they can occur. It also outlines the types of product inspection equipment that can be used to prevent foreign bodies from entering the food chain, while providing food manufacturers and processors with some best-practice guidance on how to select the right kind of equipment for the application at hand.