Validation and Verification

How to do a foreign matter object audit

Finding foreign matter in your food is not a pleasant experience. A quick way to identify potential sources of foreign matter within your food production area is to undertake a foreign matter object audit.

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In this episode of HACCP Mentor review we find out how to do a foreign matter object audit, review what quality hazards are, check out the latest food poisoning outbreaks and find out the best place to get food nutritional data.

Quality Hazards in your food business

Although quality hazards do not come under the banner of traditional HACCP, it is still a requirement by the majority of customer standards that quality hazards be identified. So what is a quality hazard? A food quality hazard can be defined as being an outcome that does not meet the requirements of the customer. A food quality hazard is not something that will generally hurt, harm or injury the consumer. Examples of food quality hazards include shape, size, colour, texture, taste, count and weight.

Raw food Nutritional Information

If you are looking for nutritional information on raw ingredients there are a lot of great websites that you can refer to. The majority of these websites are hosted and controlled by government departments. You can find a list of some below:

Food Poisoning Outbreaks in Review

The CDC continues it’s reporting of laboratory confirmed cases of Cyclospora infection. 514 cases of Cyclospora infection have now been notified from 17 states across the USA.

A food poisoning outbreak likely caused by E. coli 0157:H7 has been reported from a Mexican restaurant located in Phoenix in the USA. At this stage there has been 52 people notified as ill with 18 of those hospitalised.

In other food poisoning news, certain clams harvested in Connecticut in the USA have been recalled as they may contain vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. Both the Connecticut Department of agriculture and the Canadian food inspection agency have issued this recall.

This comes off the back of a recent shellfish poisoning outbreak in south-east England where approximately 70 people reported symptoms consistent with diarrhetic shellfish poisoning.

Action item

This episodes action item is to go around and check that all chemical storage cupboards are locked. The reason for this is to reduce the potential for chemical contamination either unintentional or intentional.

How to do a foreign matter object audit  HACCP-Mentor-Foreign-matter-bag-audit

Finding foreign matter in your food is not a pleasant experience. In some situations the presence of foreign matter can cause extreme harm or injury to the consumer. A quick way to identify potential sources of foreign matter within your food production area is to undertake a foreign matter object audit. This involves walking around your food production area with a bag in hand and picking up any foreign matter that you come across. This would include any loose items that should not be located within the production area. When you have finished, go back to your office and tip the contents of the bag onto a table. You can then assess the different types of foreign matter that you found and apply relevant corrective action procedures to stop the hazard happening again.

Get your HACCP system reviewed

That wraps up another episode of HACCP Mentor review. If you have time don’t forget to head over to my new project called You can check out the different services available which can help in your HACCP and food safety compliance process. Until next time I’m Amanda Evans from HACCP Have a great week.

Leave a Comment

Let HACCP Mentor know what type of quality hazards you have identified in your food business. Please leave a comment below.


3 thoughts on “How to do a foreign matter object audit”

  1. Hi Amanda
    What are the major content to be include in visitor screen questionnaire and what duration should you include if the person has been ill before he/she can be allowed in the food processing area. Is it necessary to ask for doctors medical report to confirm that the person is well?

    1. Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. As a rule of thumb exclusion should be until there is no visible signs of illness but I would also recommend medical clearance from a GP if it is an employee. For visitors, you can base on risk ie will they be touching the product. In the questionnaire include questions asking if they have any symptoms of a food borne disease, have they been in contact with anyone who has symptoms and if they have traveled overseas recently. Hope this helps Susan.

      Cheers, Amanda

  2. Azmal Hossain Khan

    More about screening finished products for detecting foreign objects
    Thanks & best regards

    Azmal Hossain Khan

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