Incorrect Expiry Date Presents Risk of Food Poisoning
Last month, Spar announced it was recalling its own-brand egg mayonnaise sandwich filler due to an incorrectly extended ‘use by’ date. The voluntary recall involved 220g containers which were labelled with an expiry date of 17 January 2017 instead of 2 January 2017.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) warned that consuming the product after its intended ‘use by’ date could pose a risk of food poisoning and advised customers not to eat the product and instead to return it to the store for a full refund.
For more details visit: https://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2016/15849/spar-recalls-egg-mayonnaise-sandwich-filler.
Product labels are the last line of communication between manufacturers and consumers and accuracy is crucial, particularly on perishable foods like egg mayonnaise, where expiration dates exist to inform consumers when food is no longer safe to eat.
One way manufacturers can protect consumers and their brands from defective products is to install an effective vision inspection programme. Unlike human inspectors, vision inspection systems never blink and are capable of inspecting 100% of products in real time, ensuring faulty products never reach the market.
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Vision systems allow manufacturers to detect and reject products which are flawed for several reasons; it may be that containers are incompletely filled, lids are ill-fitting or that labels are incorrect or creased.
As well as detecting 100% of product defects at high line speeds, systems are also capable of:
- Measuring product dimensions and rejecting out-of-tolerance products
- Comparing production-line packaging with ‘ideal’ images and rejecting products which don’t meet specifications
- Verifying information on labels is correct and printed to acceptable quality standards
- Counting the number of products in a case or package, and rejecting any that contain too many or too few items
In addition to reducing the risk and impact of recalls and returns, by identifying the defects listed above, vision inspection systems can help to prevent:
- Damage to other production line equipment
- Product leakage
- Line jams
- Brand damage, and
- Potential legal action by end customers