Around the world, COVID-19 has drastically affected many different industries. Businesses have pivoted their strategies, products, distribution efforts and beyond in order to accommodate new regulations and safety measures. The food and beverage industry is no different. Even as food manufacturers were deemed essential by the U.S. government, they’ve had to adapt to a new normal during the shutdown. Here are the top three changes that occurred in the food manufacturing industry and what we can learn from them.
Foreign material contamination is a major threat to the food manufacturing industry. It can be deadly to products, profit margins and brand reputations. But it often flies under the radar of in-house detection machines that don’t have the capability or capacity to detect materials beyond metal, to detect miniscule material particles, and to go through large amounts of product accurately and thoroughly.
As a critical supplier to the food industry, FlexXray has a federal exemption to any state or local government orders that would prevent us from servicing you, our customers.
We’re committed to your health and safety, and we take our responsibility very seriously to limit the impact of COVID-19. As news around COVID-19 continues to change at a rapid pace, we will monitor the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization postings, quickly making adjustments to our policies and procedures to mitigate risk and ensure service availability. We will update our website with any additional information.
Summer is nearly upon us, meaning swimming pools, BBQs, and hot weather. The rising temperature outside also means an increase in the amount of effort it takes to keep our food cool and at proper temperature during transport. Reefer trailers must work harder and the amount of time product can be “left out” decreases significantly. These are all things we are aware of and pay close attention to at FlexXray.
At a time when methods for detecting foreign materials in food is more sophisticated and accurate than ever before, it would seem that the incidents of contamination by physical hazards would be declining.
But greater capabilities to detect particles in food could actually be triggering more recalls, says Chris Keith, VP of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for FlexXray.
According to information released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign materials were the leading cause of food contamination during the first half of 2019.
Recent changes to regulations affecting line speed in meat plants have raised concerns about meat safety. These changes potentially add new dangers for food producers who are purchasing the meat, since many believe it will dramatically raise the risk of contaminated food entering our supply chain. Under these new regulations, plant managers will have more control over inspections, and many federal inspectors will be replaced with plant employees.
Last September, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a notice that it would allow certain poultry producers to increase line speeds to 175 birds per minute, up from the current line speed that capped at 140 birds per minute. To do so, plant operators must meet certain criteria, such as a history of regulatory compliance, being able to prove that they had the proper equipment, procedures and technologies in place that would allow for faster line speeds without compromising safety and being able to provide documentation that the increased line speed would not affect employee safety or interfere with inspection procedures.
The move to increase the line speed was controversial, especially given that the poultry industry has a high rate of workplace injury — even higher than construction, landscaping and sawmill worksites. Opponents of the measure to increase line speed have voiced concern that it could expose workers to even more injuries and illness.
Topics: Meat and Poultry
There’s no question that innovations in plastic are changing the food industry. Plastic is paving the way for new, lightweight forms of packaging to be created, as well as providing more flexible choices in equipment. Plastic products make processing and packaging foods easier and more cost-effective
(Arlington, Texas, May 13, 2019) – FlexXray, the nation’s leading X-ray inspection and recovery service for food companies, announced today that it has acquired Illinois-based Accu-ray, a leading provider of inspection solutions for food, pharmaceutical and automotive manufacturers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The combined company will operate as FlexXray® effective immediately.
FlexXray helps manufacturing facilities quickly and cost-effectively detect and recover foreign material contamination that can occur during production or packaging. The company works with more than 900 production plants in the U.S., including 90 percent of the top 25 protein and processed-food producers in the country.
Topics: X-ray Food Inspection