Stop Food Processing Recalls at the Source

February 23rd, 2023

Metal Detectable Nitrile Disposable Gloves

Kashif Ali, Director of Product Management, Midas Safety, explores the potential impact of metal-detectable Nitrile Gloves in the food processing industry.

The food processing industry is one of the largest and fastest moving sectors in the world. Processing, handling, and packing is a 24/7 activity that ensures continuous food supplies across the globe. This enormous scope and high pace can easily be affected by the smallest of incidents. Chief among such issues is food contamination; discarded or damaged PPE incorporated into a product, such as the fingertip of a glove, or earplug, which can cause a variety of serious issues, including a complete product recall and financial compensation.

According to a study by the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) in the US, one product recall cost companies an average of $10 million in direct costs alone, in addition to brand damage and loss of sales. A separate GMA sponsored survey found 5% of companies incurred an average of over $100m in direct and indirect costs to recall a food product including lost revenue and increased insurance premiums. In addition, the risk of long-term brand damage and negative impact on equity cannot be underestimated. A high-profile product recall, whether to manufacturers, distributors, or resellers, is catastrophic for a business. In a worst-case scenario, injury or illness for a consumer caused by a contaminated product can have far reaching and severe consequences. The potential chain reaction from poorly managed contaminants highlights the need for methods to detect and prevent such issues at the source.

With issues of discarded or damaged gloves contaminating the food product, selecting the appropriate glove is instrumental – one which is easily detectable by metal detectors already commonly used in the food industry. This is an effective solution to help prevent product contamination due to damaged PPE. Suppose a small part of a glove, as an example (1 cm2), should tear off and contaminate a product. In that case, it can be picked up by metal detectors and the product removed from the process as soon as possible, minimising risk and maximising efficiency. It is important to note the detectability of foreign contaminants is determined by their size, machine type, and detectable electromagnetic sensitivity. It is highly recommended that the metal detector machine is calibrated, sensitivity is adjusted prior to use, and trials are performed to ensure reliability.

In the context of highly expensive and brand-damaging product recalls, high quality disposable metal detectable nitrile gloves are an obvious choice for the food processing, handling, and packaging sectors.

Look for gloves that are compliant with EC 1935/2004 and FDA CFR21 177.2600 standards. In addition to the metal-detectable technology, many leading brands also provide key features to enhance usability, including a chlorinated interior to ease donning and doffing, a rolled cuff to help prevent liquids reaching the skin, and a finger surface texture to enhance grip.

Find out more about Midas Safety’s new range of Metal Detectable Nitrile Gloves here.

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