How X-Ray Food Inspection Technology Keeps Millions Of People Safe Every Year


Food safety is a concern everyone shares. Even a minor neglected hazard can mean significant illness for a wide portion of the population, particularly those more susceptible to foodborne diseases such as those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and children. X-ray food inspection is a form of technology able to pinpoint and eliminate potential problems on top of temperature regulation, packaging techniques and transportation methods.

Food Industry And Changes

The food industry has seen notable changes as modern technology has improved and raised awareness. The amount of material traditionally used has been reduced in order to tackle environmental strain while still providing countries with the products they need. Since 1977 the 2-liter plastic soft drink bottle has gone from weighing around 68 grams to a mere 47 grams, totaling a 31% reduction overall. This has saved more than 180 million pounds of packaging in 2006 alone for 2-liter bottles. A food packaging machine is programmed with the necessary schematics to account for the most recent food industry updates.

Plastic Packaging And Waste

Reducing waste is one of the biggest goals of food industries around the world. Packaging experts have estimated each pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by up to nearly two pounds. A mere two pounds of plastic can deliver up to 1,300 ounces — the equivalent of roughly 10 gallons — of a beverage such as soda, water, juice or milk. Compare this to aluminum or steel, the former of which you’d need three pounds of to bring home the same amount of product and the latter of which you’d need eight pounds.

Recycling And The Future

One of the best ways of supporting the environment and saving money is through recycling. The vast majority of materials used in transporting and preserving food and drink can be recycled, including glass, paper and plastic. Studies estimate up to 60% of the American population — that’s nearly 148 million people — have regular access to a plastic recycling program. Additional accessible recycling programs include magazine recycling, newspaper recycling and glass recycling. X-ray food inspection, however, is the barrier between the daily consumer and minor to severe illness.

Temperature And Illness

Food and drink need to be kept at a regular temperature in order to prevent the growth of bacteria. Cold temperatures, for example, keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying over the course of its shelf life. Refrigerators should be kept no higher than than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers at a consistent zero degrees. Packaging plays a major part in temperature regulation — food sealing machines use vacuum sealers to preserve food three to five times longer than food stored in containers or plastic bags.

Contaminants And Detection

A food x-ray machine (or food metal detector) is a prime resource for identifying everyday food contaminants. There are three primary groups of metallic contaminants able to be detected through x-ray food inspection — ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel. A typical metal detector application with either a wet or conductive product can see 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm stainless steel detected, while an x-ray can frequently detect 1.5 mm or less. This drastically improves food safety and brand protection.

Creating A Safer Food Industry

Foodborne illness and contamination is one of the most widespread hazards. Every year one out of six Americans (up to 48 million people) get sick from foodborne illness, while another 128,000 are hospitalized and nearly 3,000 die. The vast majority of these cases can be prevented through the use of x-ray food inspection technologies and proper packaging techniques. Maintaining the correct temperature, identifying contaminants and reducing the margin for error keeps people safe and the environment able to support the needs of billions of people across the globe.

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