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Dark dots found on our product during the visual inspection process


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kknust

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 06:35 PM

Hi, I'm new as SQF Practioner, and I have one question. We found these dark dots on our product during the visual inspection process. We are not sure where it came from, but we think it probably from eggs or flour. I contacted some of our suppliers, but as expected not of them seems to know what it is. My question is: what would you do?
 
 

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Edited by Jacob Timperley, 13 February 2021 - 07:49 PM.


olenazh

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 06:50 PM

I would first check the ingredients (e.g. sift flour/powders to find similar pieces), then contact ingredient suppliers to question RE: those inclusions (also, check the corresponding lots COAs), then - would send samples to the lab for testing (chemical & micro (could be some sort of mold)) and possibly ask the lab if they could inspect the objects in microscope to identify the source. Then, inspect the potential areas of contamination at your place (it could be metal chips, paint flakes, even pest traces - hope not!), question your employees/supervisors.



olenazh

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 06:53 PM

Oh, BTW - do you by any chance use sesame seeds? Those look like them...



kknust

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 06:59 PM

Oh, BTW - do you by any chance use sesame seeds? Those look like them...

No, our product is just a mix of starch flour, eggs, oil, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese.



FSQA MKE

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 07:02 PM

Are those black spots considered normal? Does this usually happen and is there a tolerance of some sort in the product specification? if not, I'd scrap the product.


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kknust

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 07:05 PM

Are those black spots considered normal? Does this usually happen and is there a tolerance of some sort in the product specification? if not, I'd scrap the product.

No, it is not considered normal. I quarantined the batch. Production staff said it happened at another time, but in a smaller amount.



Scampi

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 07:32 PM

to me it looks like pest feces  (not to sound alarmist) or actually the pest.....flour bettles?

 

or poppy seeds......


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ebb30

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Posted 11 February 2021 - 08:05 PM

Could it be coming from the line? Is it soft or crusty (falls apart as opposed to a solid metal chunk)? I obviously can't see it too well, but it reminds me of black spots I would find on biscuit dough that was from oil and flour etc. mixing under the belts with food grade lubricants and occasionally fall out. Especially if there are any parts where belts cross over in a line or around rollers.  



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Posted 11 February 2021 - 10:36 PM

First I would check the ingredients for any contamination. specially flour. it could be  flour bugs. 

 

and check the processing line- Mixers , could be broken seal/ O ring  particles if you have any in your machineries.



Ryan M.

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Posted 12 February 2021 - 01:41 PM

I would also consider any areas where "burn on" develops in your equipment.  This can break off and end up in the product. I would send it to a third-party lab for material assay to determine exactly what it is and get a root cause.

 

Inspect the entire line from start to finish thoroughly before sanitation.  Disassemble equipment as much as possible and look around for possible contamination points to either find it or at least rule out your equipment and environment.



chrkut

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 06:05 PM

Do you have a microscope? Its always good to have even a basic one kicking around for these types of incidents. 

 

Can you check if they are magnetic? That's usually our first check.

Second check if you suspect metal but non magnetic is to get enough of it together and send through a metal detector if you have one. Those pieces seem large enough that they should reject if it is metal. 

 

If you do not think it is metal, grab one on the tip of your finger and try to smear it across a surface, i.e. a piece of paper. This should give you an idea of its consistency. This should help i.d. if its something more solid, something like a paint chip that is solid but will break apart, something like mold that will smear, or something crunchy like a bug. 

 

Do you have a sifter system? Id check the sifters for recent findings as well as seeing if you have any pest findings there. we usually see them in our tailings first, as the tailings systems seems to be a harborage point. 



Foodworker

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Posted 20 February 2021 - 06:26 PM

They seem to be a differing sizes and shapes, rodent droppings have  distinctive shape - pointed one end and often with anal hairs embedded (nobody's eating are they).

 

Without close examination, my first thought would be pieces of decayed old product picked up from production equipment. It tends to be a problem with dough based products






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