This can be anything from hair to band-aids to pieces of glass from a broken light bulb. Common contaminants include dirt, jewelry, writing utensils, glass, wood, metal, plastic, rubber, stones and insects.
The physical contamination of food during preparation and processing can take place in many ways. Detection methods are directed at identifying physical contamination and include a number of scanning systems:
The visual inspection of products passing along a production line is still practiced in many food manufacturing operations.
Food safety concerns associated with physical contaminants include:
*Choking (particular young children)
*Cuts to the mouth and tongue
*Damage to the gastrointestinal system
In order to prevent physical contamination, action must be taken:
*Inspect food on delivery for signs of contamination
*Store and cover food property at all times
*Inspect all storage areas regularly for signs of pests or broken light bulbs
*Make sure that employees do not wear jewelry in food preparation areas
*Use hair restraints in all food preparation areas and in all food and equipment storage areas
*Avoid the sue of loose pens, paper or other supplies in food preparation areas
Physical contamination: safety and prevention