Occasionally, a news story breaks about a recall for foreign objects in pre-packaged foods. For the most part, the contaminating object breaks off of production equipment or comes from an employee, but recently a producer voluntarily recalled packages of frozen hash browns for containing parts of golf balls. We’re not sure if the company shared packaging facilities with a sporting goods store or if the potato farm doubled as a driving range, but we’re sure that strict oversight and review of food manager course guidelines may have prevented this situation.
Preventing Outside Contaminates in Packaged Food Products
If you’re a certified food manager that oversees a production facility, you need to review your procedures from time to time. Hopefully, your staff understands that items such as golf balls don’t have a place on the production floor, but it may be a good idea to take the time to remind your team about what belongs in your production facility and what does not.
We suggest that you train your team to keep any objects that do not relate to their duties away from preparation areas. Here are a few tips to prevent unnecessary contaminates from ending up in your product:
- Provide lockers for employees’ personal items
- Keep uniforms simple without buttons and removable badges
- Frequently inspect equipment for loose or broken parts
Most cases of foreign items causing food hazards arise from negligence or a lack of control over what is brought to the production floor. If you have a safe place for employees to store personal items such as keys, loose change and sporting goods, there will be less chance of these items falling out of their pockets and into your food. Keeping employee lockers away from the production floor will further decrease the odds that foreign objects will end up of food packages.
Broken and worn out equipment is also a likely culprit when it comes to non-food ingredients falling into packaged foods. Inspect your equipment on a regular basis to ensure that everything is in good working order. This will not only prevent parts from falling off, but will also alert you to any problems that could eventually shut down production.
While food manager courses can give us the guidelines to
Contaminates in Packaged Food
, our continued diligence and training is important to keep our customers safe. What other steps do you take to keep foreign objects out of your food?