Food processors are mandated by the law
to manufacture safe foods. By definition, a safe food is a product that contains no physical
, chemical, or biological hazards that if ingested could harm consumers and result in their illness, injury, and death. Many times, however, despite food processors’ efforts of implementing plant-wide protocols for detecting and preventing contaminants, extraneous objects or foreign matter find their way inside food products.
It is generally agreed upon that the most common methods
of introducing physical hazards into food processing plants include those:
- Introduced from the field (stone, metal, insects and small animals, vegetable matter, etc.)
- Resulted from processing and handling (metal, glass, wood, grease, paint, rust, etc.)
- Introduced during distribution (insects, metal, stone, dirt)
- Intentionally placed in food products (via employees)
- Miscellaneous materials (struvite and other such mineral deposits)
Other examples of extraneous materials include shell fragments, pit fragments, cleaning equipment (bristles, sponges, cloth), packaging materials, elastic bands, medications, band-aids, glove fragments, pencils, jewelry, keys, and paper clips.