Frequently Asked Questions
At FlexXray, we understand that food safety is your top priority — and it’s ours, too. We are happy to talk with you about your food contamination questions, but to save you time, here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive.
We have great in-house procedures and equipment in place in case of food contamination. Why do we need FlexXray?
Is your inline equipment always going to catch that plastic nosepiece? That bolt? That speck of harp wire? Probably not. At FlexXray, it’s our core competency to detect things that in-house equipment often misses.
- We’re fast. Need help now? We can help. We can inspect your product before our competitors can get you a quote.
- We’re cost-effective. Our fees amount to a small portion of the production costs, including re-work and disposal costs that many companies face when there are issues with their product.
- We have the capacity. With 30 inspection lines operating nationwide, we can inspect an entire truckload in three to four hours, while the driver waits.
- We can handle frozen foods, thanks to our temperature-controlled storage facilities.
- We have better technology. FlexXray can detect metal, glass particles, stones, bone, rubber, plastic, gasket material, product clumps, container defects, wood and missing components down to 0.8mm or smaller.
- We’re experienced. We have a 30-year history of X-ray food inspection and serve more than 800 customers in North America.
- We have multiple inspection options. You can ship your product to our facilities in Texas, Illinois or Connecticut for inspection, or we can rent the equipment to you.
- We trace everything. FlexXray maintains traceability back to the specific pallet, batch and lot numbers.
- We’re near you. FlexXray is located throughout the continental United States to conveniently serve clients across North America. We offer both in-house inspections and X-ray and metal detector equipment rentals.
- We’re registered with the USDA and FDA. We’re also audited by AIB International.
- We remove the contaminant. We can also send you the actual contaminant as part of our in-depth reporting.
What’s the cost of food inspection?
The cost of an inspection is much less than the cost to throw away the product or try to re-work it, let alone manage a recall or a lawsuit.
Destroying the product ultimately means disposal costs, remanufacturing costs, potential out-of-stocks, no true feedback on what the contaminants were or ability to make vendor claims.
In case of a recall, the costs go up even more. While an average food recall costs a company nearly $10 million, the consequences of damaged brand reputation are hard to gauge. FlexXray’s precise detection abilities help you protect your customers and your brand.
Call us today for more information 817.453.3539.
What can X-ray systems detect?
FlexXray can find product clumps (cereal, grain, sugar), missing components, rubber/gasket, wood, stone, metal, glass, plastic and more.
FlexXray uses cutting-edge X-ray technology that detects foreign materials 0.8mm or smaller. Our advanced, medical-grade X-ray systems are built specifically to locate contaminants the size of the tip of a ballpoint pen in food, beverage and consumer products of all types.
Can you identify where exactly the contaminant was found?
Yes! FlexXray is able to ensure traceability throughout the inspection process. When a contaminant is documented, FlexXray maintains traceability back to the specific pallet, batch and lot numbers. FlexXray also has the operational capacity to dissect products and extract the foreign material. This way you know exactly what the contaminant is, the size and the full traceability of where it was located within the project load.
How quickly will I get my X-ray food inspection report?
We begin inspecting your product as soon as we get it. All FlexXray findings are thoroughly documented and sent to you within hours of completing the inspection. If contamination removal is selected, the report logs are scanned and sent within 24 hours, and the actual physical contaminant log is sent overnight. If you choose the contaminant retrieval service, we’ll provide a separate report for that. Our goal is to deliver a comprehensive report 48 hours from inspection.
Do you offer free sample testing?
Yes! If you suspect a contamination issue, you can ship a sample to FlexXray for an inspection at no charge and get the results immediately. Whether the material is detectable or not, FlexXray reports its findings, discusses capabilities, includes photo documentation (in most cases) and provides a quote for a full inspection and recovery of the project.
How fast can I get my product tested?
The next day or sooner. We understand the importance of getting your product inspected quickly so it doesn’t disrupt your production process. Our operational capacity allows us to turn a truckload in as little as four hours.
Do you handle frozen food?
Yes! Our facilities temperature-controlled space and temperature-controlled trucks for foods that require refrigeration. Also, we track and record the opening and closing delta temperatures, so you can be sure your product is maintaining industry standards throughout the entire inspection process.
What food industries do you service?
FlexXray services ALL food industries and is able to inspect your product anywhere in the manufacturing process, from supply to finish.
Do you meet relevant government regulations?
Yes! FlexXray voluntarily maintains USDA- and FDA-compliancy, so you can rest assured that your product is always handled under the strictest of guidelines. Our system also meets all USDA- and FDA-regulations for food packaging and will pass all packaging inspection requirements.
How does the food inspection process work?
FlexXray has one of the most sophisticated inspection processes in the industry. Our customized machines can find contaminants 0.8 mm or smaller; most in-line inspection equipment in food plants can only find contaminants down to 2 mm.
If our advanced X-ray technology finds a contaminated product, it is separated from the rest of your product to ensure that it never reaches the consumer. We will then work with you to find the best solution. Since every situation is different, we don’t offer one-size-fits-all solutions; we work with you to find the best resolution for your food contamination issues.
If there is a contaminant in my product, do I have to throw it all away?
No! Thanks to FlexXray’s advanced capabilities, you don’t have to toss out all your packaged food when contamination occurs. Our recovery team can handle the contaminant removal process from start to finish, or provide specific services such as validation, warehousing and re-bundling your product.
After we remove the contaminant or dispose of it, depending on your preferences, we will either return the product to you or get it back in your supply chain.
I think my product might be contaminated. What do I do next?
Call FlexXray now! Our team of food inspection experts is ready to help at 817.453.3539.
Can FlexXray audit my finished product for foreign material?
FlexXray’s inspection services complement and validate your in-house methods to ensure you’re meeting all industry standards. Our foreign material control and HACCP and FSMA audit services are designed to find issues that you didn’t know existed and correct them before they cost you time and money. And, because our food safety audit services follow HACCP guidelines and FSMA rules, you’ll have complete confidence that you are operating under full compliance.
Where does the food inspection take place?
You tell us! Inspections can take place at one of FlexXray’s facilities or yours, either as a mobile inspection or as a rental. We have facilities in Texas, Connecticut and California.
In a mobile inspection, a service technician trains your team on how to use the equipment, then stays on as a technician supervisor for the duration of the inspection.
In a rental situation, our equipment is delivered to your facility and a service technician provides training on how to use it. Your team will then use FlexXray’s equipment to conduct the inspection.
Do you offer X-ray inspection equipment rentals?
What geographic areas do you service?
FlexXray serves the continental United States, Canada and Mexico. We offer several options for inspection locations and can perform them where it is most cost-efficient to you. We can bring our equipment to your facility, or you can send your product to us for inspection. All of our locations are USDA- and FDA-approved and bonded to ensure your safety and satisfaction.
Are X-ray inspection machines safe for my products?
Yes! FlexXray’s systems are designed specifically to inspect products for foreign materials and product defects. We use a low-power X-ray source that is completely safe for your product. Your product is never at risk for irradiation or sterilization.
Do you have a confidentiality policy?
Yes. We understand the importance of trust and confidentiality and consider it an essential component of business operations. In addition to having our own strict standards of confidentiality, we will gladly sign and comply with your company’s confidentiality requirements.
How comprehensive are your reports?
FlexXray’s in-depth reporting covers everything down to the smallest of details — including machine time and opening and closing delta temperatures. When a contaminant is documented, FlexXray maintains traceability back to the specific pallet, batch and lot numbers. All findings are thoroughly documented and sent to our clients within hours of completing the inspection.
What’s your average turnaround time?
With the operational capacity to turn a truckload in as little as four hours, FlexXray can efficiently service 500,000+ pounds of product per day.
How do you ensure product safety during the inspection process?
FlexXray has hundreds of thousands of square feet of temperature-controlled space to warehouse your products. We track and record the opening and closing delta temperatures, so you know your product is maintaining industry standards throughout the entire inspection process.
Also, FlexXray voluntarily maintains USDA and FDA compliance, so you can rest assured that your product is always handled under the strictest of guidelines.
What about your experience?
We have a 19-year track record of successful inspection and customer growth, with more than 1100 customers benefiting from our advanced technology and complete dedication to ensuring the safest products possible.
Can you inspect product of any size?
Yes! We inspect everything from a 1-ounce pack of chocolate to a 60-pound chunk of beef. FlexXray has the capacity to inspect and find foreign material in your product no matter how big or small it may be.
What are the main foreign material culprits you find?
If it can get into your food supply, we can find it! Here is a list of the main types of foreign materials we find.
Metal — Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, Stainless Steel
- Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Lead, Zinc, etc.
- Belting and Guiderail Material
- Safety Glasses
- Packaging Material
- Glass from Containers
- Broken at Filler
- Light Bulbs
- Cereal – Hardened Sugar
- Missing Components
- Rubber Seals
- Machine Seals
- Pump Seals
- Tile from Mills
- Alumina Lining
Bone, Stones, Can Ends and more!