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Will visual inspection suffice in dealing with foreign materials?


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mind over matter

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 09:42 PM

Do you think visual inspection will suffice in dealing with foreign materials during receiving, processing, storage and distribution of product to avoid product contamination?

We don’t use foreign materials detection or x-ray machine for practical and financial reasons.

Thanks in advance!


Edited by mind over matter, 20 February 2011 - 09:43 PM.


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Jomy Abraham

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 05:33 AM

It depends on the prodcut that you handles. Visual inspection is must at Raw material reciept points. In case of products like chilli powder, there is a specific spec for Insect Fragments ( IF). Its not easy to identify with our naked eye. Moreover, verification is must to confirm whether it is IF or any other skin/product/external matters. In this case, a microscopical analysis is must to confirm the presence of IF.

Regards
Jomy Abraham

Do you think visual inspection will suffice in dealing with foreign materials during receiving, processing, storage and distribution of product to avoid product contamination?

We don’t use foreign materials detection or x-ray machine for practical and financial reasons.

Thanks in advance!



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redchariot

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:51 PM

Visual inspection of raw materials and work in progress is usually sufficient for foreign body control; depends on risk assessment

As far as final product is concerned, you may get away without a metal detector if you are manufacturing bulk product which is going on for further processing by your customer e.g. boxes of raw beef, but be prepared to prove to your customers that it is not necessary and you can be sure with the first metal complaint, they will be hopping up and down and demanding you put a metal detector in place if you want to keep their business.

If you are packing for retail, you absolutely need a metal detector or more ideally an x-ray detector, because you are the last line of defence before the consumer. Again by the BRC standard, it is not 100% necessary if a risk assessment shows that risk of contamination is zero; even then you will have a hard time justifying this to the major supermarkets



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Dr Ajay Shah

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:58 PM

I totally agree with the comments made by Redchariot. At least invest in a few magnets if it is a dry product.


Dr Ajay Shah.,
BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, PGCE(FE)
Managing Director & Principal Consultant
AAS Food Technology Pty Ltd
www.aasfood.com


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GMO

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:08 PM

There is a lot to be said for people rather than machines, it's difficult certainly to design a vision system which is as good as a "fresh" person. That said, how "fresh" are your people? Are you rotating people on jobs? People become blind to things they see hour after hour or day after day. Also do you define your standards well on what is acceptable vs. unacceptable? They must, must, must be visual.

I would say it would be difficult to have as a CCP and if you think it should be a CCP, I would still invest in detection equipment but if it's not a CCP in your process, then perhaps it's an option; after all what is glass control but minimising the risk then visual inspection and awareness?

Perhaps the best place to start thinking is "what would happen if it went wrong?" because people are fallible but are not permitted in law to be(!) So if a machine broke but you did everything within your power to keep it running causing a food safety issue, then that *might* be ok but if a person missed something I think a court would expect you could have reasonably predicted that could happen, therefore would come down with the full force of the law; especially if there is a (perceived) foolproof machine which could have done the job.

So it does depend on risk.

Personally I hate magnets though, they have a nasty habit of dumping the contaminants back in.



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George @ Safefood 360°

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 01:11 AM

The advice above is on the mark. Something you might do to help you answer your own question is to review your customer complaints.

If your analysis shows issues regarding foreign body complaints this should direct you regarding the need for and type of detection systems.

Be careful using financial and practical reasons for NOT using appropriate detection methods. Objective risk assessment will always serve you better and may be cheaper in the long run...

George Howlett.



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