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Metal Detector Validation

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Posted 01 February 2024 - 06:12 PM

Hi All,


Our facility has had a metal detector for about five years but no evidence it was added to our SQF HACCP plan or the FS Plan. The metal detector is only on one processing line after our grinder and before final packaging. The facility has had it calibrated annually in the past, and has documented reject activity but did not have a monitoring policy. 


I created a monitoring procedure and performed training. Now, I need to review the data and perform a validation. How can I validate the metal detector after reviewing challenge data and reject activity?


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Posted 01 February 2024 - 09:38 PM

You're validation - it's proving your process is working as intended. Type up a paragraph recapping what you did and why it is affected. 


The USDA calls these validation studies and requires 90 days. You are validating your process.


Then annually you validate your equipment to make sure it's working as intended (like you did in the past). Plus looking over the paperwork to make sure your process is still working and catching any metal. Have a check off sheet stating you looked at your process yearly for SQF then. 


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Posted 01 February 2024 - 11:27 PM

If it is a CCP or PC it needs to be validated.   


Some people believe that validation is kinda reserved for CCPs and PCs.   My opinion is why not validate as much as possible (procedures, programs, policies, etc)?


The best practice is to the MFG or other third party to come in and conduct the validation.    some people might do it them selves by placing the test piece in the product and and passing it through numerous times in different  and placements.   How you validate (prove that it is effective at controlling the hazard) is up to you.   There isn't 





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Posted 02 February 2024 - 04:25 AM

Hi nmcclain2,


You will need to document your review of the challenge data and rejects to confirm the metal detector is achieving the objective. This will include the sizes and types of test pieces used. In addition to that I would be reviewing customer complaints to ensure that there have been no complaints of metal in the product.


Kind regards,





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Posted 08 March 2024 - 12:15 AM

How often is it validated? Once and then thats it?  


for SQF - Where detection and/or removal systems are used, the site shall establish limits for detection, based on a risk assessment of the product and its packaging, and identify the location(s) of the detector(s) in the process.



Can we use risk assessment from vendor? 

or create our own? 


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Posted 08 March 2024 - 04:49 AM

It is important that the validation process is thorough and accurate to ensure the effectiveness of metal detector system. Monitor the metal detector's performance by checking the detection of each test piece. Record the results of each test.


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Posted 08 March 2024 - 06:05 PM

I think we've talked about validating metal detectors a ton on here, so I won't get into that part specifically, but I'd like to mention making sure you validate that your monitoring SOP itself is effective.  For the SOP: Reviewing monitoring records to see that your checks/challenges are being performed at the proper frequencies, that they're being performed by the properly trained employees, that the monitoring logs are being filled our correctly and timely (including the management review after each shift or batch run), and that you're documenting the test pieces used at each check/challenge.  Include a review of customer/consumer complaints for any metal FM findings, and a review of your deviation and hold logs for any records of the machine being marked non-conforming with any regular frequency.


And for extra kicks and giggles, if you find a MD was placed on hold for a week due to PM or parts needing replacement, go check monitoring logs from that week to make sure no one was running the machine that was supposed to be on hold.  Don't ask me where I learned that trick...  :shutup:

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