Lessons from a Massive Product Recall – What is Peace of Mind Worth?

Christy Draus, Eagle Product Inspection Marketing Manager

9 January 2019

Romaine lettuce has been in the news in recent months – and in plenty of consumer conversations – with the pulling of the product from store shelves around the U.S. Additional lettuce recalls, plus recalls tied to suspected metal contaminants in sausages, add up in the public consciousness and may erode overall confidence in food safety. Such widescale recalls – some tied to pathogens, others to contaminants put manufacturers on notice to maximize the ways they protect foods and beverages for human consumption. X-ray inspection systems are one way to bolster safety, by finding and rejecting contaminants before they lead to health risks. X-ray machines provide other benefits too, that help manufacturers stay out of the news and stay on course with their goals.

 

What’s in a headline or, for that matter, a viral news story? When it comes to trust in products, brands and the nation’s food supply, breaking news about food safety can result in a lot of damage.

The national, headline-making romaine lettuce recall in November 2018 may have been caused by a pathogen, but the massive scale and impact of the recall reminds manufacturers all over the globe about the importance of measures to protect consumable foods and beverages. Such protective measures were brought to the forefront again in December 2018, when more than 28,000 pounds of sausages were recalled in the U.S. after consumer complaints of metal contaminants in some products.

As with pathogens, physical contaminants can pose human hazards. Ingesting food and beverages tainted with foreign bodies can lead to serious injuries to the mouth and digestive system. The discovery of foreign materials in foods can also lead to losses that add up quickly for producers, retailers and foodservice operators that make and carry the product in question.

Putting safeguards in place to reduce the risk of foreign body contaminants helps food and beverage manufacturers sleep more soundly at night. Advanced inspection technologies, including x-ray machines and accompany software, are designed to find and remove foreign materials before they pose a human health hazard and a subsequent wide-ranging, costly recall. X-ray systems, compared to metal detection systems, can keep foods safe from metals as well as a host of other foreign bodies, including glass, plastic, rubber, stone, calcified bone and more. Other benefits include greater product traceability and a more consistent final product with software performing important product integrity checks, such as component count, fill level and missing/broken pieces.

Read a case study to see how one brand uses x-ray inspection to cut their recall risks and help eradicate contaminants.

Click here to watch a webinar on how x-ray technology works and why it’s an effective solution for keeping consumers safe and keeping your products and company out of the headlines.