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Our Guide to Detectable Products

A guide to detectable products

Consumers rely on retailers and food processors to protect them from unintentional contamination in food products. In addition to ensuring public safety, having effective measures in place to detect food contamination can help you to avoid costly breaks in production or product recalls.

Detectable products reduce this risk and using them reveals that you have identified and reduced risk of foreign body contamination as a vital part of your Hazard Analyisis and Critical Control Point Plan (HACCP) which keeps your food safe from biological, chemical and physical food safety hazards.

For guidance on making a HACCP plan visit:

So what are the key characteristics of good quality detectable products and detection systems?

Detectable products work very simply with the use of metal detectors or x-ray systems which are used in the food production line. Items do not have to be made of metal, for example some products are made of metal detectable plastics.

Ideally detectable products have the following qualities:

Detectable: Ideally, whole or broken pieces can be detected by metal detectors or


For example, our supplier BST Detectable offers knives which have handles made from xdetect® polypropylene co-polymer handles which are metal detectable, x-ray visible, food grade, and available in nine colours so they can be used within colour coding systems in food production areas.

BST Kitchen Knife

The range of detectable products supplied by Vikan also comes with a test kit which allows you to check the detectability of different shapes, fragments or items from its metal detectable plastics product range.

Vikan Kit for metal detection,

Implementing these tests regularly can be a helpful element in your HACCP plan.

Strong: Frequent and repetitive use of items can result in breakage or wear and tear on food production items resulting in fragments or small amounts of the product entering the food product. Ensuring that the quality and strength of the items is of a high standard reduces risk of contamination.

A key thing to check is the level of industry and independent testing which has been carried out on detectable products.

Ergonomic: Detectable items still need to be efficient and easy to use, they need to be designed in a way which ensure that the user does not incur Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) or find it uncomfortable to use the item for long periods, and they need to be designed to reduce waste.

Hygienic: Thoughtful design, such as that displayed in the one piece construction of the Vikan metal hand scoop ensures that there are no seams or ridges in the product which can be awkward to clean and cause the build up of bacteria.

Hand scoop, metal detectable, one litre from Vikan

This ergonomically designed metal-detectable Hand Scoop is lightweight and durable. A one-piece construction prevents bacterial contamination, and a smooth surface allows for easy cleaning. Ideal for moving ingredients in food production areas. Metal detection can be tested using Vikan test kit

Don’t forget other items in the food production area…

Commonly used items such as pens, ear plugs and plasters are examples of items not used directly in the food production process, but which are commonly present in the area of production and which can cause contamination. Specialist suppliers including BST Detectable do offer these items as detectable products which will be spotted by metal detectors or x ray screening.

Detectable blue sticking plasters, 7.5cm x 5cm, box of 50 £8.08

As always, our team here at CIS is happy to offer advice on the best products to suit your needs and budget. Call us on 01726 74264 or at for advice relating to your specific needs.


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