The numbers of recorded recalls of food products contaminated with pieces of plastic or rubber have more than doubled in the EU and North America in the past 12 months.
This could be a reflection of the increased levels of food safety monitoring rather than increasing food processing errors, but even the longer established UK data sources indicate an increase in recalls of over a third.
The leading product sector continues to be Chicken Products with 19% of the total. The Dairy sector (17%), Bakery (15%) and Veg and Salads sectors (13%) also have a significant share of the recall incidents.
“It is apparent that those sectors that use the most extensive mechanical systems in their processing are at greater risk from plastic pieces getting into the product” says Jon Ireland, Detectamet’s Sales Director. “It was useful to see that two recall events were triggered by failures related to conveyor systems. The first involving pieces of a hard plastic rod from a complex conveyor transferring cooked chicken, and the second, involving chicken patties, was believed to be pieces of blue plastic trimmed off a solid conveyor belt”
Two food areas that have had no recorded plastic recalls in 2016 is the Minced Beef and Sausage sectors that in past years regularly experienced such events. “With the most detectable range of products in the world Detectamet offers a multitude of ways of reducing the risk of plastic contamination” Jon explained “ but most of the plastics triggering recalls are almost anonymous save for generic descriptions of size texture and colour.”
“Detectamet continues to work to develop new products that customer’s request. In that way we will help to turn the tide on the growth of plastic contamination incidents in the future”