Why is foreign material control important?

Why is foreign material control important?

Foreign material control is critical for the US food industry. American consumers are very wary when it comes to food contamination, given their predisposition to diseases such as cancer. US authorities try to contain contamination in consumers’ food for a number of reasons.Foreign material control is important because:

–        foreign object contamination can create a bad experience for the consumer;

–        foreign object contamination can ruin a brand’s reputation;

–        lack of foreign material control can cause damage to equipment;

–        absence of foreign material control can lead to insurance claims and expensive legal cases;

–        foreign object contamination can cause direct health issues to consumers, ranging from broken teeth to laceration.

What can be done to achieve foreign material control?

US authorities have put a tool in place to bring about foreign material control. It is the Hazard Analysis And Critical Control Points (HACCP). The US FDA defines HACCP as “…a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.”

There are different HACCP systems in place for different types of food products:

–        Dairy Grade A Voluntary HACCP

–        Juice HACCP

–        Retail and Food Service HACCP

–        Seafood HACCP

Initial hazard analysis and the prerequisite programs are the most important aspects of the HACCP. Ahighlight of the HACCP is that limits, monitoring, verification and records in the HACCP program will not control unanticipated hazards.

Reference:

http://www.fda.gov/food/foodsafety/hazardanalysiscriticalcontrolpointshaccp/default.htm

 

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GMP’s in foreign material control

GMP’s in foreign material control

Since foreign material control is a matter of grave importance to the American public, there are several Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP’s) that are in place for this industry. As defined by the FDA; GMP’s for foreign material control include facility, processing and employee practices aimed primarily at microbial control, but also foreign material control.The reason for which GMP’s have to be put in place in the foreign material control area is that they ensure food security.These are some of them:

People!

GMP’s in foreign material control start with the people in the industry. No matter how much mechanization has taken place; it is the people who power the industry. It is also the easiest of GMP’s to control, and also the most impactful. Staff must ensure that they avoid unintended or deliberate actions that could cause contamination in food. They should be made to remove personal items like hairpins, clips, rings or any other such material that could potentially cause a contamination. Employee access to on-site contaminants such as equipment parts and tools should be restricted.

Methodical facilities

Next to people; the obvious GMP is facilities. Maintaining a clean and systematic facility serves two important functions: it prevents unwanted items from entering the facility; its manufacturing process and supply chain, and also sets the standard for employees working in the facility. It gives workers a view of how the organization functions. This ensures cleanliness in the food product and makes detection of any non-standard products, ingredients that go into them and other such items easier.

Facility and equipment maintenance

Tools and equipment parts should be stored in secured areas when they are not in use; every item should be accounted for, and a post inspection of the site should be carried out.

 

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Foreign Material Control – A basic understanding

Foreign Material Control – A basic understanding

Foreign Material (FM) Control is often a source of major problem for the food industry in the US, as a good part of consumer complaints across the food industry in the country relates to FM inclusion in finished food products. This issue has been one of considerable debate too, in not only the industry, but society itself as a whole. It involves food, without which no human can survive, and hence the controversy.

What is FM?

Foreign material control has a major impact on business in the US. Detection of above permissible foreign material control has resulted in market withdrawals, meaning expensive costs for the business doing it. The controversy starts with defining what “foreign material” is in the industry’s context. It can be broadly defined as foreign objects and/or extraneous matter found in food that the consumer has not expected or has not been informed about. Not everyone is agreed on this definition of foreign material control, because there is a high level of subjectivity and interpretability over the critical terms of this definition.

Definitions in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act

There are various definitions of FM in the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act:

–        402(a) (1): “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health.”

–        According to the 402(a) (3), “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance, or if it is otherwise unfit for food.”

–        402(a) (4) details that “a food shall be deemed to be adulterated if it has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health.”

Reference:

http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/article.asp?id=291&sub=sub1

 

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Fax: 302-288-6884

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