In this third part of our series connecting the Winter Olympic Games to the issue of foreign material contamination, we look at the winding, weaving path that foreign material can take through your critical control points—a process not unlike Slalom.
In the Slalom ski event, racers are required to pass through a series of gates that lay out their course, alternating between red and blue gates. There are upwards of 40 gates per track in the most major events. This event might be a little foreign for American producers, as no American has medaled in the slalom in recent history! All the same, we see a connection between this event and the process that food of all types goes through during production.
Within your production line, you have numerous Critical Control Points (your product’s gates) where you’re required to mitigate risk. Per the FDA:
- A critical control point is defined as a step at which control can be applied and is essential to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.*
These CCPs are laid out in your HACCP plan along with plans for how you address surpassing critical limits, responsibilities for remediation and corrective actions. The purpose is simple—to protect the end consumer from a variety of hazards, including foreign material contamination.
Every food production line is different, and your HACCP plan is likely so detailed as to be exhaustive. That said, if you’re not including FlexXray’s FDA and USDA-certified facilities as an option for foreign material remediation in your HACCP plan or process, you’re not taking the best path to the finish line.
Trying to navigate a foreign material hold alone can tend to send producers “over their skis” and out of control because trying to investigate, mitigate and rework a hold internally is not their core competency.
At FlexXray, we’re not the solution to every issue addressed in your HACCP plan. However, we are the best inspection and recovery solution for producers nationwide to address foreign material contamination. When you send us your product, we take it through our course, tracking every detail. We use our custom processes and proprietary X-ray technology to find foreign material contamination in your product and retrieve it. By using FlexXray’s range of services, our customers get the information they need to trace foreign material issues in their production facilities and take steps to prevent costly issues in the future.