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Ingredient Bag - Contamination Control

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:13 PM

Hi All,


We make cold pressed bars. We, on occasion, find ingredient bag material in one of our finished products (bars) when we are transferring them to our packager. Our batchers will cut the ingredient bags and will also use scoops to scoop the ingredient out of the bag. We believe that this is where we are getting the contamination from. How can we prevent the ingredient bag or liner from contaminating our product? What do you do at your facility to prevent this? Please note that we have ingredients of all sizes. We use both powders and whole nuts/seeds. We can sift our powders but it would be difficult and not likely to catch a piece of bag material with the nuts. 


We are trying to write a corrective action for this but are finding it hard to come up with a preventive action.


Thank you for your help!!!




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Posted 17 May 2018 - 06:20 PM

Can you dump the nuts into a stainless steel container and then scoop from there?  Is the bag liner clear or coloured?  If clear, you could ask if the liner could be bright blue---much easier to spot

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:31 PM

Per Scampi bright blue liners can be amazing for this. Another option is to run your ingredients through a seive that will catch the bag material (serrated edges are good at grabbing bag material but not grabbing powders or seeds).


Another thing to look at is how you're cutting. Scissors can be better than box cutters at preventing tiny scraps from tearing off when opened. And you can use them to remove the entire top of a bag rather than just make one "access" tear. Clean top removal could help a lot compared to tearing a hole.

Austin Bouck
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Posted 17 May 2018 - 07:38 PM

We handle ingredients much in the same way and have never encountered an issue with bag contamination, but I think part of that is that we aren't handling nuts (bag much easier to see). In addition to Scampi's suggestions, I would say look at how your employees are actually opening the bag. If you have a clean cut across the top, you would be able to inspect the bag before they start scooping to see if any 'bits' are missing already. 


Also, removing the outer bag before cutting into the inner liner would also help to keep track of all the bag pieces. If you cut into both at once, of course there's higher chance that the liner parts will get lost inside somewhere.


Part of preventative action could be as simple as getting your employees to look inside the bag before they start scooping to see if there's any visible pieces of bag sitting on top of the contents. 

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