In 2019, the UK Food Standards Agency issued 8 food alerts relating to food contaminated with metal particles. The products included turkey dinosaurs, crispy onions, Quorn sausages, corned beef, halva, an oat drink, and prepared vegetables. Up to the 9th March 2020, there have been three:
- Co-op recalls Chicken & Stuffing Sandwich because it may contain metal
- Mars Wrigley UK recalls Revels pouches because they may contain small pieces of metal
- Müller recalls several products because they may contain small pieces of metal
All these products were subsequently removed from stores across the UK and returned to the manufacturer, who would then bear the cost. However, the additional cost to the food manufacturer’s reputation and image is incalculable.
Source of Rogue Metal
When processing food there is always a metal contamination risk. The metal often comes from worn or damaged processing plant. This metal is found, removed or detected using a combination of Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors.
Magnetic Separators attract and hold any magnetically-susceptible materials (e.g. ferrous metals, abraded stainless-steel and magnetised plastic/rubber). There are designs for both processes for dry (e.g. powders, grains, pellets, etc) and wet (e.g. liquids and slurries) materials.
Metal Detectors, often located later in the process, identify metal present in a product. This includes once a finished product is packed prior to despatch. This last check ensures that the product leaving the factory is of the highest standard.
The design of Magnetic Separator or Metal Detector depends on the application, the food stuff, and the process plant. Bunting engineers regularly visits sites across Europe, advising on the optimum location for and design of metal separator or detector.
Free On Site Evaluation
Even if a processing plant has Magnetic Separators and Metal Detectors, our engineers commonly find installed magnetic separators and metal detectors that are out-of-date, incorrectly positioned, damaged, or are no longer suitable for the application. Our free, on-site evaluation is supported by a details report with recommendations on how to minimise the threat of a metal contamination food recall. To find out more, please read about the audit we conducted for Jordans Dorset Ryvita.
To book a free site review or for additional information on solving the problem of metal contaminated, please contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0) 1527 65858
Photographs by Paul Fears Photography
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