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How to Increase Quality of Food Production and Avoid Potential Recalls

 

According to the USDA, 1.5 million pounds of meat & poultry were recalled in 2018 due to extraneous material (plastic fragments, metal shavings, latex pieces, or other foreign materials). “The average cost of a recall for a food company is $10M in direct costs” according to a joint study by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

Grand Rapids Metrology helps you keep your profit and avoid potential recalls in two ways: through metal detector systems and calibration! We were presented with an opportunity to make a customer’s food manufacturing process more efficient while mitigating extraneous material risk. As finished product is passed along a conveyor belt, the installed in-motion checkweigher simultaneously weighs the product, and the metal detector ensures product quality.

Metal detectors are an extremely useful tool. When utilized within your current process flow, product is efficiently checked. However, one should not overlook the power of calibration. The food industry prioritizes accurate weight and quality of substance, and therefore, food manufacturing standards are among the most heavily regulated.

Routine calibration helps to avoid potential recalls, due to bad batches, through obtaining reliable and accurately measured values. Many regulation and management standards for food quality stress the importance of calibration. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control (HACCP) regulations that are mandated for meat and poultry, seafood and juice references “verification records that document the calibration of process monitoring instruments.” ISO22000, the food safety management system’s requirements, states in Section 8.3, “The organization shall provide evidence that the specified monitoring and measuring methods and equipment are adequate to ensure the performance of the monitoring and measuring procedures”. Both require documentation of calibration activities to monitor the performance of equipment. Effective procedures for calibration and quality assurance can help achieve this.

Due to wear over time, instruments require calibration at set intervals. This is to ensure equipment is running at prime conditions. Putting off calibration can cause a variety of quality and compliance issues which could result in product recalls and heavy costs.

Don’t be a recall statistic. Our custom engineered solutions team will analyze your current production process and look for ways to increase efficiency as well as quality! Rely on us to keep track of your calibration needs. When a year has passed, we’ll remind you to schedule calibration! Not to mention the new and improved CERTLINK. CERTLINK is our customer portal that will allow you access to all of your calibration certificates and schedules. Reach out to us for more information!

 

 

SOURCES:

USDA

Food Safety Magazine

Process Industry Informer

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