We all understand how crucial it is to ensure that our foods are free of contaminants. One of the most common sources of contamination in the food processing industry is metal, which often gets into foods by way of faulty food packaging equipment and machinery. In order to prevent dangerous mistakes, it’s important to have a quality food metal detector system in place that will pick up on even the smallest of potential contaminants. Here are the essential characteristics that you’ll need out of a food metal detector.
Food metal detectors should be able to identify the three main groups of metallic components: ferrous metals, such as iron, which are magnetic and conductive; non-ferrous metals, like copper and lead; and stainless steel, which is often difficult to detect because it is neither magnetic nor conductive.
The high salt content of some foods and the high iron content of many types of meats can sometimes falsely set off a metal detection system. Be sure to calibrate a standard for your specific product if you deal with such issues.
The placement of your metal detector should not impede the flow of your production line, but it should ideally be situated toward the end of the process. Debris from food packaging machines is often the most common cause of metal contamination.
Your food metal detector should not only be easy to clean and operate, it should also be easily cleaned and sanitized according to safety standards. Make sure that all personnel are informed and trained by the supplier of proper maintenance needs and techniques.
If contamination issues do occur, your system should be able to record and track every instance. That way, you can locate problem areas or identify patterns that might be putting your production process at risk.
Food metal detectors are important for consumer safety, but they can’t do everything. Bear in mind that your metal detector won’t pick up on elements of bone, glass, or plastic that might cause contamination. For that, you’ll need an X-ray food inspection. Both systems combined, however, will offer your production the highest standards of safety and a resolute peace of mind about the quality of your end product.