Food producers fight contamination on two levels – firstly on a particle or sub-particle level where contamination is often bacterial, but can also be relatively benign, yet nonetheless unwanted (such as the ubiquitous tiny particles of plastic commonly found in bottled water).
The second level is termed foreign bodies.
There is a fine line between the two types of contamination. Foreign bodies that are larger than 2mm are one rule of thumb for producers while those larger than 7mm are another category. Determination is based on the potential damage of a hard object to a non-risk group.
Foreign bodies are extrinsic – entering the food somewhere along the journey from farm to fork, such as a bolt, or intrinsic, for example, bone fragments in meat. The sources can be manifold: stones in vegetables, pests such as insects and rodents, residual food waste, broken machine parts, and even intentional sabotage.
The means taken to prevent foreign bodies are implemented at different stages of food processing – mechanical means include filters, magnetic extractors, and screens or detection devices such as x-ray, and metal detectors. Consumer safety and food processors’ reputations depend on this.
Another aspect of the control of foreign bodies is correctly designing or selecting the spaces, equipment, and materials that come into contact with food during its processing. This can mean covering open areas in factories to prevent foreign bodies from dropping into food in the process, and in the context of conveyors, using belting materials that do not fragment easily.
Volta has released a series of unique food-grade, metal detectable, flat and positive drive belts. In the unlikely event of even relatively small pieces of belt breaking off, this can be picked up downstream by metal detection systems.
Volta’s unique products help you deliver cost-efficient safety.