A common global concern is the risk of particles from machinery contaminating products on the production line. This is especially the case with industries associated with food, drink, and pharmaceuticals. The issue is ongoing, and it’s something that both small and large companies have to deal with. No matter how established they are. Back in 2018, household name Quorn had to recall 15,000 ready meals from supermarket shelves over fears that the meals were contaminated with pieces of flexible rubber. That is why metal detectable rubber is a great choice for manufacturing seals and gaskets.

Food manufacturing factories can vary widely in their sizes and capacities. So, depending on the type of product being manufactured, some solutions may not be possible to implement. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution to eliminate foreign- object contamination issues. However, there are some preventative measures that can be taken to reduce the risk, such as:

  • Training
  • Pre-operation inspections
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Internal audits
  • Investing in technology which can eliminate risk of certain contaminants (such as metal detectable rubber)
  • Crisis plan

Rubber Food Contamination: How Does It Happen? 

Small pieces of plastic or rubber ending up in food or consumable products are one of the most common types of recalls caused by contamination. This is usually because the machinery will use components such as rubber washers and rubber gaskets. Over time, these components can become worn, after continuous vibration and often extreme temperatures. As well as, exposure to many different chemicals and substances. As a result, particles can start shedding, making their way through the systems. In addition, eventually ending up in the production stream.

When contamination has been discovered, the equipment must be shut down. After that, visual inspections have to take place to find the source of the contamination. This leads to downtime, and consequently lost revenue. If it is found that the contamination has ended up in the supply chain itself, recalls must be made.

Metal Detectable Rubber 

One type of technology that can reduce the types of contaminants, that can end up in the finished product, is metal detectable rubber. This type of seal and gasket technology can quickly and efficiently be detected. Therefore, ensuring that any contaminated food does not leave the factory.

Both our metal detectable silicone sheeting and metal detectable nitrile sheeting allows for the detection of any eroding particles that enter the production line. Should any rubber be detected, the production process can be stopped quickly. After that the products can be segregated, and any maintenance can take place to rectify the cause.

As a result of the quick identification benefits, the risk of production downtime is minimal. In addition, the probability of product wastage is significantly reduced.

Contact Us Today

If you would like to find out more about our metal detectable rubber seals and gaskets, then get in touch with Stephens Gaskets today. As one of the leading manufacturers of rubber components, we can provide you with the finest quality of material that we guarantee will not to let you down. Explore our website for more information, or call 0121 544 5808 to speak to a member of our team.

If you have found this blog helpful, then you may wish to read our previous blog on Metal Detectable Silicone Rubber | Precision Machined Components

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