Reclaiming Contaminated Products

Food & Beverage
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As much as no one wants it to happen, products may need to be reclaimed by a manufacturer for any number of reasons. While Eagle Product Inspection’s advanced x-ray technologies are instrumental in reducing risk, and improving product integrity during the manufacturing process, the systems are also valuable during the reclaiming process. Companies can quickly access data to determine when they need to be reclaiming contaminated products.

You’ve been alerted to a safety issue: Products under your brand must be reclaimed. Although your manufacturing line is designed to prevent problems with quality, integrity, and safety, what matters now are the steps you take to determine what, if anything, went wrong in the production or packaging stage and what other products may be similarly affected.

So, what next? After quarantining a batch or issuing a recall, what’s the best way to react to the discovery that products must be reclaimed?

  • Consulting and adhering to your organization’s HACCP plan is an important first step. Make sure your plan is accessible and that the appropriate teams and individuals are aware and involved.
  • You may choose to work with a reclaiming service, depending on the time period between the discovery of the problematic products and the initial production. A reclaiming service can bring in the latest x-ray technologies to your site, operated by qualified food safety technicians to scan raw product, unpackaged product, finished product and/or finished cases. Some reclaim services receive product at their facility for offsite scanning and detection.
  • Go back in time. A major benefit of installing an x-ray system in your manufacturing facility is having information at your fingertips or at the push of a button. If your own lines include x-ray inspection equipment from Eagle Product Inspection, you can retrieve important data and images stored on the system. X-ray systems powered by Eagle’s SimulTask™ and TraceServer™ software provide a range of product analyses and retrievable information. “With some of our software capabilities, a manufacturer can do quality checks within our system, preventing them from having to forage through paperwork later if there is an issue,” says Steve Dowd, inspection specialist for Eagle Product Inspection.
  • Check the time stamps. Part of the reclaiming process is validating the machine. Eagle’s advanced x-ray systems feature a validation mode, with an option to define the user. “Time stamps and images are stored on the machine to identify the product and the machine’s operator at the time of inspection,” reports Dowd.
  • Conduct a system review. The health of the machine itself is also monitored via Eagle’s software to ensure there have been no equipment faults or glitches.

Armed with critical data and images, a manufacturer can begin reviewing saved product images. “There is full image detail and everything is serialized,” notes Dowd.

Once you scan, assess and sort products, you have the information needed to determine which batches should be reclaimed and which are safe for release. You’ll also get some peace of mind knowing that you have information to back it all up.

Learn how one bakery manufacturer has bolstered its contaminant detection and improved its product traceability by adding Eagle’s Pack 320 PRO.

Recalls are expensive and the reclaiming process can be complex and long, especially if you have to go to a third party. If you haven’t already, begin to gauge how installing an x-ray system is a cost-effective way in the long run to protect your product and brand, in this white paper on total cost of ownership.

About the author:

Christy Draus is Marketing Manager for Eagle Product Inspection. Christy manages all areas of the marketing program and initiatives across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa and Asia Pacific. Christy has over 19 years of experience and a diversified skill set in business-to-business environments.

Christy Draus, Marketing Manager, Eagle Product Inspection

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