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Developing food grade detectable ID tags for ready meal producer

05 September 2016

Will Anderson explains how BST Detectable worked with a customer to create a customised metal detectable tagging solution. 

Food Pro Manufacturing FoodPro Manufacturing, part of Browns food group, are a leading ready meal manufacturer with over 30 years’ experience. Clients include ASDA, Morrison’s, Iceland, Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, NISA, P&H, Spar & Birdseye. The product range offered by the company includes frozen traditional, Indian, Italian and Chinese meals, as well as deserts and all of these are produced in a state-of-the-art production facility in Wigan, which holds a Grade A BRC Global Standards Accreditation as well as numerous client approvals. 

The facility has implemented a strict colour scheme for each high-risk production line. Brightly coloured PPE and metal detectable plastic ID tags form an essential part of the colour coordination scheme, so when the company’s existing metal detectable tags started causing problems, BST were quick to step in and provide a smartly engineered alternative. 

Shatter resistant polymer
BST Detectable Products was able to help FoodPro by developing a new, high performing metal detectable plastic ID tag. The resulting BST XDETECT, is a shatter-resistant food safe polymer which offers metal detectability, X-ray visibility and bright colours. After confirming the suitability of the material, BST proposed a new design of ID tag for FoodPro to check that it met 100% of their requirements. In this instance more notches were added to the side of the ID tag to allow for greater adjustabilty when securing to different sizes of asset. 

Once the design was approved a new dual cavity injection moulding tool was created to allow for efficient production of the tag in a range of colours.
All FoodPro production line assets  – including buckets, monitors, scoops, trays, bins, machines – are now tagged in the appropriately coloured detectable tag to prevent cross-contamination from one line to another, as well as preventing foreign body contamination by the tag itself. 

BST Detectable advises that food processors do not wait for an audit non-conformance to develop a solution for items that are high risk of causing contamination, instead it suggests taking a pro-active and diligent approach to food safety and controlling contamination risks.     
Commenting on the project to create a range of detectable ID tags, a FoodPro spokesperson said: “The tags are developed to be strong and durable, which has been proven throughout our factory. The line colours are an imperative part of our day to day running, allowing us to successfully and effectively manage allergens and species across site. BST are committed to manufacturing products that work for you, and provide excellent customer service while doing so.”

Will Anderson BSc (Hons), is head of product development & marketing at BST Detectable Products.

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