Ensuring Conformity of Packaged Food
Conformity of packaged food takes many guises. The fundamental requirement is that food is free from unwanted contaminants and is of high quality, and that the label is accurate and correctly positioned. The product also needs to be within the correct weight tolerance and must comply with national and international food safety standards, regulations or legislation, and with an abundance of food safety guidelines that manufacturers, processors and retailers should refer to or respect.
The potential severity of non-conformity of a product is huge, especially if it is due to foreign body contamination. For an individual, it may have long-lasting health implications or even prove fatal. For the businesses concerned, it may result in a product recall, financial penalty, criminal prosecution or even closure.
Conformity goes much deeper than food safety compliance. On reaching the consumer, both product and package must be perfectly presented with no defects and accurately reflect the brand expectations. This could be as simple as ensuring that a novelty insert is included or the label is always in exactly the same position. However, it can also be as complex as ensuring that all the chocolates within a box having the same amount of topping. Advanced product inspection technology such as modern X-ray and vision inspection systems can both perform multiple integrity checks simultaneously to prove product conformity. Furthermore, for manufacturers looking to improve production line efficiencies and optimum brand protection, checkweighing technology can be used in combination with vision, metal detection or X-ray within one machine.