My company has recently gone through a customer audit with high emphasis on BRC requirements. One of the suggestions was for our metal detection procedure to be reconstructed. The set up of our facility is that fully packaged product exits a spiral freezer, travels down a decline belt, through a metal detector with automatic reject system, and then continues on to be packaged in cases. They issue the auditor saw was that when a validation check was done on the metal detector, the employee placed each of the three wands (ferrous, non-ferrous, and stainless steel plus a metal detectable Band-Aid) individually on top of the bagged product to run through the detector. Each wand must detect and reject 3 times for the check to be deemed acceptable. the issue that was brought up was that the employee was not using a previously passed bag to then use as the "test bag". He brought up the point that how do we know that the detector is actually detecting the wand rather than the happen chance that a bag had metal in it. In addition to those concerns we have several bags passing through the detector at the same time, and stopping our process (decline belt) would not be possible in our current set up. When I have researched metal detection procedures I have not found anything stating that a previously passed bag must be used for validation check and must be the only product passing through the detector. Has anyone else heard of this or has some literature that would give more clarification on this? Thanks
Posted 08 May 2015 - 05:06 PM
The reason your auditor gave is correct. Your "test bag" should pass through the metal detector prior to use.
As far as having other product passing through the detector at the same time as your "test bag", it's not an issue. If you are doing nine passes through the metal detector (three per wand type), the odds of getting a false reading from non-test product are pretty large. Unless of course you have a lot of metal in your product.
As far as literature goes, most all metal detector manufactures say something similar to "test packs should be proven to be free of metal" prior to their use.
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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:50 AM
I'm more surprised the auditor did not query the location of the wands which is debatable unless appropriate to the detector geometry/sensitivity profile.
The "validation" run could be carried out in isolation as far as the 2nd point is concerned. This is more the norm. IMEX.
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