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Cleaning and Sanitation of Metal Detector Wands

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jcieslowski

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 05:37 PM

Thoughts on cleaning and sanitation on metal detection wands.  DA inspection is challenging our procedure for cleaning our metal detector wands before using them to check each of our metal detectors.

 

Our current procedure is to wipe each wand with a quat. sanitizing wipe in between each metal detector test.   The wants are inserted into the opening of the metal detector to 'trigger' it.  There's no product going through at that particular time but product and the wand may touch the side of the detector.

 

DA inspector is saying that sanitizing the wand between uses is not sufficient.    Curious for thoughts.

 

Thanks



kingstudruler1

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 07:55 PM

sooooo,  the concern is the cleaning process of the wand and not that you test the MD without product going through it?   They really need to be tested with product.  

 

 

A solution to your original problem might be to get some alpet d2 wipes, Ecolab Duo wipes , or some other product that is an approved cleaner & sanitizer.  Ive never had any one question this practice.   Technically, the first "wipe" cleans and the second "wipe" sanitizes.  


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Ryan M.

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 08:27 PM

What is the setup of the metal detector?  Is it setup for detection in packaged product, or in process product?  As another said, you want to test the metal detector with the product as best verification practice.

 

In terms of potential cross contamination of product from the test wands you can conduct a study.  Simply swab the test wands before and after the sanitize.  I suspect it will be fine and you'll see no counts after sanitizing unless you are not handling / storing these correctly.  If you do see counts, then you can do a cleaning and sanitizing and do the same study.

 

Show auditor quantitative data to support your decision and how it does not risk the product.



jcieslowski

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Posted 15 March 2023 - 09:02 PM

Sorry, I was not very clear in the process.  We're dropping product (potato chips) through the metal detector ring and into a bag.   When the test is performed it is during a 'run' but the insertion of the metal detection wand shuts down the machine such that product is not contacting the wand directly.  It is possible, however, that the wand may touch the metal detector (SOP says to insert in the middle but it's a bit awkward of an angle and it may touch).

 

After inserting the wand into the detector, the tester will wipe the wand with a sanitizing wipe and restart the machine and go to test the next machine.

 

Inspector is challenging sanitizing wipe under a basic premise of "you need to clean before you sanitize" and wants us to wash, rinse, sanitize the wand fully between tests.



Scotty_SQF

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Posted 16 March 2023 - 11:21 AM

USDA Inspector is questioning cleaning of metal detection wands that you use for potato chips?  That sounds like an FDA product, so why is the USDA Inspector concerned on this, unless the same wand is used for USDA product or the chips then go in with a USDA product.  Never had a USDA inspector question a side of business that was FDA unless it could affect the USDA product.

 

We use metal detection cards, but for us this was on already packaged product.  I did work for a pasta facility once where we used metal detection balls and I remember using food contact approved wipes on them with no issues.  I think what others above have said should hopefully help.



G M

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Posted 16 March 2023 - 03:45 PM

How often do you replace the seeded samples, and how many different detectors or groups of detectors are being checked in a cycle?

 

For time and long term cost, I'm curious if it would be simpler to use a set of seeds for each sanitary group.  You can perform a validation study to prove wiping the wands off is effective, but is it more work or expense than just using a second set of samples?

 

We run up to four or five different allergen sets at once, but the tech is taking one set of seeds and running the verification on "group A" machines then washing their hands and grabbing a different set of seeds to test "group B" with.



jfrey123

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Posted 16 March 2023 - 04:42 PM

Is there a reason you're resistant to washing the wands before sanitizing?  I get both sides, where wiping the wands while sanitizing probably cleans them well enough, but in the black and white world of "you must clean then sanitize," it seems easy enough to wash them before sanitizing and meet the requirement.  We used test balls and cards at a plant we worked at, and had someone take them to wash and sanitize after every check at 2 hour intervals.

 

You could consider getting extra wands, having enough to test each MD at it's specified interval and then have one person go wash and sanitize them all in preparation for the next test.



Ryan M.

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Posted 17 March 2023 - 12:45 PM

Ideally you want to have the test pieces for the MD go through the same product flow (chips falling down into bag).  Yes, it can be a pain, but it is the true test that is most appropriate.  Unsure if you can pre-package the MD test pieces in chips and drop entire bag through metal detector ring.  That may be the easiest thing to do.



G M

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 06:34 PM

Ideally you want to have the test pieces for the MD go through the same product flow (chips falling down into bag).  Yes, it can be a pain, but it is the true test that is most appropriate.  Unsure if you can pre-package the MD test pieces in chips and drop entire bag through metal detector ring.  That may be the easiest thing to do.

 

Many brands of chips use metallized film which is usually incompatible with metal detectors. 

 

We run into a similar problem with some of our products, and are switching those production lines to X-ray.



Ryan M.

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Posted 10 April 2023 - 07:19 PM

Many brands of chips use metallized film which is usually incompatible with metal detectors. 

 

We run into a similar problem with some of our products, and are switching those production lines to X-ray.

 

True, metal in the film will definitely interfere with a metal detector, but does not always prevent using one.  Your resolution will definitely be impacted on it for sure.  I am curious if X-Ray would be effective because X-Ray usually works best on dense materials, rule of thumb is if denser than water X-Ray can pick it up.





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