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How to check for non-metal contaminants in tea/spice/dry goods?

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#1 erick.white


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Posted 22 March 2019 - 07:41 AM

Greetings again,


I was curious about handeled goods. We are a tea/spice/dry goods manufacturer and trader. We often recieve goods and further modify them (i.e. cutting, milling) and sometimes we recieve goods and merely sell them.


Here is my issue: Our handled goods pass through a metal detector, are checked for appearence and taste, and tested for microbiology. But the bag could contain plastic or worms and we wouldn't know unless our probe was lucky enough to find it. But that is merely 100g from a 20kg sack.


Questions: Are these safety checks enough when we are looking to become FSSC 22000 certified? I would think we would have to open every bag and and thoroughly check the contents but that would increase the work load 10 fold. By checking the goods, I would simply dump them through a safety siev or somthing of that nature but we would also have product loss.


Any advice? I can also clarify if need be.


Thanks in advance.



#2 Dr Vu

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Posted 22 March 2019 - 07:59 AM

The general approach would be to look at it this way.


  • how good is your supply ?if your suppliers are good then maybe that sample may be enough?
  • also what is the end user going to do with the product (target market)? 
  • if you have concerns then establish some baselines by checking each supplier 100% and then scale back if no issues are found..each supplier may not present same risk


are you checking 100g in every 20kg sack  of the product?

A vu in time , saves nine

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#3 erick.white


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Posted 22 March 2019 - 01:12 PM

I appreciate your quick response, I'm going to consider your advice and formulate a response.


Thanks again

#4 SQFconsultant



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Posted 22 March 2019 - 05:21 PM

Ever thought about X-ray?

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#5 christian.stadler


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Posted 10 April 2019 - 01:07 PM

An Optical Sorter might be the right choice. For X-Ray the difference in density between tea/spices and other organic material might not be sufficient.

Optical Sorters would be able to distinguish between worms and spices either through a color camera or infrared camera.


Not sure if I am allowed to post a link but here is a link to one of these systems:


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