White Paper

How X-Ray Inspection Helps Food Manufacturers Improve Safety, Mitigate Risk, And Stay Compliant

By David Quebbemann

FDA quality metrics

In early 2019, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated several components of its food safety guidelines via the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). A critical aspect of FSMA – one that is garnering significant attention from food manufacturers – is its stringent inspection and recall threshold. Manufacturers that receive more than two customer complaints are instructed to conduct robust, self-administered investigations and issue wide-scale recalls, as necessary.

In the past, investigation like these were “triggered” by the detection of large and/or problematic contaminants discovered during analysis, setting a clear and predictable standard for manufacturers. By describing applicable customer complaints and recommended remedial steps in a general fashion, however, the new policy creates substantial uncertainty and risk for manufacturers. Unexpected inspections and recalls are very challenging and very expensive, capable of significantly hindering a food company’s resources and growth strategy. 

Given these circumstances, ANRITSU is currently advising its food manufacturing clients to enhance and possibly replace their traditional metal detection-based inspection devices with devices based on newer X-ray technology. By widening the proverbial “lens” on detectable contaminants – including both contaminant types and particle sizes – X-ray inspection helps manufacturers proactively address compliance and safety concerns in the face of these new government policies.

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