What matters more for food businesses, quality and safety or quantity? The long-standing consensus among food growers, packers and processors is that quality is crucial. Delivering a high-quality product – uniform in size, shape and color and free from contamination, foreign materials and damaged items. Delivering a safe quality product results in maintained consumer trust and maximized sales and profits, whilst ensuring the brand is protected.
But does food quality and safety and food quantity have to be opposing factors, so that as output increases quality suffers? The fact is, food businesses must increase production to meet growing global demand for food, and many are also looking to diversify into new markets and categories. It is more vital now than ever before that these businesses ensure the highest food quality and safety.
There isn’t one simple solution, but there are various actions food businesses can take to cut out defective produce, optimize yields and keep the customer coming back.
The risk of foreign objects
Foreign objects and materials can cause food manufacturers serious consequences. In a recent report from the Stericycle Recall Index, it is noted that foreign materials are the leading cause for product recalls1 in the United States. The study found that 78 per cent of the recalls caused by foreign material were due to metal being found in the product, highlighting how evident this issue is in the supply chains of today and how imperative it is to eliminate this risk.
Materials such as plastic, glass, wood, cardboard and animal contamination tend to also be among the biggest issues when it comes to foreign objects. There are also instances where mice, frogs and rats are found within fresh and processed foods, and businesses around the world are known to check for rattlesnakes during the sorting and grading of green beans.