What do you think is the reason large companies grow so big? Is it because they have delicious products? Is it because of their packaging? Those are certainly among the factors that encourage brand loyalty. But the most important one that most consumers consider is the quality of every product they buy.
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As consumers become more vigilant when it comes to the food products they purchase, food manufacturers look for more ways to ensure that every item leaving their facilities is of high quality and free from contamination. The primary food contaminants are categorized into the following:
- Physical contaminants: Foreign materials such as hair, nails, and jewelry
- Biological contaminants: Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and parasites
- Chemical contaminants: Toxic substances such as bleach and other cleaning agents
Nowadays, there are many options to consider in order to maintain product quality, from new types of technology to cost-efficient methods. Keep reading to learn more about the tools and techniques you can look into for the sake of ensuring food quality.
Quality Checking Tools
These are especially beneficial for companies that follow a manual filling method. This means that the packing process for their products is not yet automated. The machine is perfect for small and medium-sized food companies that are still establishing their brand in the food industry.
Furthermore, this equipment can help you ensure that every product will weigh precisely the same. Usually, checkweigher machines have a conveyor belt on which you’ll put the product, and then the machine will check if it passes your standards. For more information, you may visit websites such as https://www.tdipacksys.com/blog/checkweigher-machines-what-are-they-and-how-can-i-benefit-them/.
An X-ray machine is another important piece of equipment to ensure the quality of your products. It’s used to determine the presence of unwanted foreign materials in every product, such as jewelry, metal debris, and hair.
This also prevents the contaminated product from reaching consumers as much as possible. What’s more, it’ll help you analyze whether there’s something wrong in the process that’s resulting in contamination. For example, if you find a metal screw in one jar, chances are that one of your machines is broken or falling apart and needs to be replaced right away.
Metal Detecting Machines
These are among the most important types of equipment that a lot of big companies have. The machine is used to make sure that every product is free from ferrous and non-ferrous metal contaminants, which are extremely dangerous if anyone ends up consuming them. It’d ultimately guarantee the safety of every consumer, preventing severe medical cases and possible lawsuits.
UV Light Sterilizers
Small and big food companies alike use these to disinfect raw materials and other items such as packaging materials. With them, you can prevent contamination even before production starts.
Quality Monitoring Techniques
Encouraging Proper Personal Hygiene
Everyone in the facility, especially those who come in direct contact with food, should always maintain good personal hygiene. If you’re a food safety officer, one of your roles is to make sure that every staff member is clean from head to toe. These are the practices you have to implement:
- Proper handwashing: Make sure that there’s enough water, soap, and tissue in bathrooms and at handwashing stations. Never use an air dryer to limit the movement of microorganisms in the air.
- Minimal contact with food: As much as possible, use gloves and protective coverings such as masks and hairnets to prevent contamination.
- Personal cleanliness: See to it that all staff members aren’t wearing jewelry, have clipped nails, and aren’t wearing perfume and cosmetics.
- Prohibiting ill staff from working: Employees should report their sickness to their immediate superior to prevent further contamination.
- Turning To Pest Control Services
Pest control plays a vital role in maintaining food safety. Pests are one of the contaminants people hate. Who’d want to find a dead cockroach in their food, right?
Insects can carry all sorts of microorganisms, which could render your products unsafe and inedible. So it’s essential to have pest control inspections done every week or as often as needed to make sure that your facility and products are safe from unwanted little visitors.
Following Cleaning Policies
This is the most crucial thing to consider in maintaining the quality and safety of your products. Your staff members should know the proper way of cleaning tools and equipment, especially those that require special attention. If they don’t know it yet, train them accordingly and make sure that they understand every process.
You may also conduct weekly general cleaning so that all surfaces are clean, including the floor and walls.
Training Your Staff
It’s necessary to train your staff every now and then so they’ll know both the right and the wrong things to do inside the facility. You may conduct in-house sessions teaching them all about food safety. Here are the things you should discuss during the training:
- Food handling and preparation
- Proper hygiene
- Proper storage of raw materials and finished products
- Proper cleaning techniques
- Pest prevention and control
You can schedule the training every three months. This way, employees don’t forget what they’ve been taught regarding how to handle food.
Maintaining quality needs to be the top priority of every food company. Their aim should be to make all food products safe and fit for human consumption. You can accomplish just that by using the tools and techniques discussed above. Furthermore, they could help you achieve compliance with national and international standards, prevent production loss, and minimize consumer complaints in the long run.
Author: Heather Parks