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Filter Size For Trapping Metal Fines

filter metal HACCP

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#1 srose

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 02:32 PM

I am currently preparing a HACCP Plan for a company that blends vegetable oils. We are using the CODEX Decision Tree to determine the CCPs.

 

They use stainless steel filters to filter the oil during blending and before filling.  However, at the end of the filling line, just before the fill heads, they have a 73 micron filter. Will this size filter be enough to prevent metal fines from any damaged stainless steel filter from entering the finished product? They do not have a metal detector installed - only a magnet that does not detect stainless steel.

 

I believe that the 73 micron filter will be enough to capture most metal fragments, but I am uncertain whether 'powder-size' metal particles would pass through the 73 micron filter.

 

 


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#2 Mike Green

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Posted 28 August 2014 - 04:55 PM

Hi SharonRose,

 

I'm sure a metal expert will be along directly to advise-but in the meantime.......

 

.....apologies for stating the obvious (lol) -but a 73 micron filter will filter out particles with a diameter larger than 73 microns (0.073 mm or 0.029 inches if you are into imperial measurements!)

 

Not sure where you product is heading for! (?)-but the guidance from FDA (for example) is here

 

 

FDA’s Health Hazard Evaluation Board has supported

regulatory action against products with metal

fragments 0.3 inch (7 mm) to 1 inch (25 mm) in

length.

 

The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic

Act (the FFD&C Act) prohibits interstate commerce

of adulterated foods (21 U.S.C. 331). Under the

FFD&C Act, a food containing foreign objects

is considered adulterated (21 U.S.C 342). See

FDA’s “Compliance Policy Guide,” Sec. 555.425.

In addition, foreign objects that are less than 0.3

inch (7 mm) may cause trauma or serious injury

to persons in special risk groups, such as infants,

surgery patients, and the elderly.

 

 

Kind Regards

 

Mike


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#3 srose

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 05:28 PM

Hi Mike,

 

Thank you very much for your help. I will definitely take a look at the document link provided.

 

Things really would have been so much simplier if they had a metal detector but they bought the magnet on the advice of a previous consultant and are understandably hesitant to purchase another piece of equipment if the magnet can be sufficient with the right support.

 

Thanks again.


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#4 Mike Green

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:00 PM

Hi Mike,

 

Thank you very much for your help. I will definitely take a look at the document link provided.

 

Things really would have been so much simplier if they had a metal detector but they bought the magnet on the advice of a previous consultant and are understandably hesitant to purchase another piece of equipment if the magnet can be sufficient with the right support.

 

Thanks again.

 

No probs- its generally recognised that the naked eye can register particles of 0.1mm- so your 0.073mm particles are pretty small- and way below FDA's acceptable levels- I wouldn't be that concerned unless there was a significant volume getting through -what amount of metal fragments does your current filter capture & what size?-that would be an interesting indicator

 

Have a look at the attached report  from 2010 on the Toxicity of Stainless Steel- (it may help with your validation)

 

Kind Regards

 

Mike

Attached Files


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#5 Charles.C

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Posted 29 August 2014 - 06:24 PM

Dear sharonrose,

 

I guess the crucial questions, as per previous post, are (a) how much metal contamination do you have, (b) of what size, © intended consumer, (d) at what "level" the quality of the oil will be unacceptable even if the particles are not intrinsically a FS hazard.?

 

The Americans have a wonderful terminology for use in cases where, for example, metal particles exist but a  FS risk is not definitive,  It's called "adulteration" which means something like the food product is sufficiently contaminated, ie out of specification, that is is no longer suitable for use in food related activities.

 

Offhand 0.07mm particles sounds quite substantial to me although I doubt would be seen by a MD unless numerous, eg clumped together.

 

Rgds / Charles.C


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Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C






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