The Risks of Foreign Material Contamination

Nobody wants to sit down to a nice meal only to find something unpleasant in their food, but it happens more often than you might think. Foreign material contamination is one of the leading causes of food recalls, which can potentially cost companies millions of dollars, to say nothing of the health and safety concerns and loss of consumers’ trust.

In recent years, the number of incidents involving foreign materials like plastic, polymer, wood, and even small pieces of glass or metal found in food has been on the rise. In 2019 alone, over 13 million pounds of food was recalled due to foreign material contamination.

Foreign Material Contamination in Shipping

Contamination from foreign materials can happen at any point in the supply chain, including during storage and shipping. Even the cleanest trucks and shipping racks can contain particulates of plastic, metal, or other materials that might cause illness or injury if accidentally eaten. While poultry and other protein products are packaged by the time they reach this stage, there is still a risk of exposure, especially when using outdated combo bins for bulk products.

Many traditional bulk boxes don’t have the structural strength to hold up a full load of food, which can cause them to split and burst at the seams. Most try to solve this by using antiquated belly bands or straps, but these still don’t distribute pressure evenly, resulting in boxes sagging and bulging.

What’s more, these bands can pop open, risking further damage to the boxes as well as creating a foreign material contamination risk to the combo bin contents from the loose bands themselves.  

The Disastrous Cost of Recalls

Apart from the obvious health and safety hazards, food tainted by foreign materials can result in disaster for any company that has to issue a recall. On average, recalls cost food companies roughly $10 million in direct costs from losing products, notifying regulators and consumers, and investigating the root cause of contamination. This doesn’t even include litigation costs, fines from the government, or potential sales lost from consumers who avoid the brand in the future.

Recalls caused by contaminated food can seriously harm a company’s brand reputation, decrease its market value, and in the worst cases, spell the end for the company.

Prevention is the Best Practice

The good news is that most foreign material contamination is preventable. As more companies become conscious of the health concerns and financial consequences of contaminated foods, they have begun developing new technology to detect contaminants before they reach the customer, as well as implementing new training measures and cleanliness standards in processing plants. These practices can go a long way to keep unwanted substances out of customers’ food.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. At ProBin, we set out to design a product that addresses this vulnerability, protecting your goods at every step of the supply chain, including storage and shipping. Our Ultimate Bulk Storage Bin is carefully engineered with the perfect strength to carry protein products and withstand the rigors of transportation.

In addition, our signature poly-woven sleeve provides even coverage on all sides of the bin, removing the need for old-fashioned, ineffective belly bands and virtually eliminating bulging and bursting. And because the sleeve is seamless, you don’t need to worry about it ripping or tearing and creating a potential contamination risk. This means your protein contents are shielded from the outside environment, greatly reducing the potential for contamination.

An Effective Solution for Your Shipping Needs

Don’t find out the hard way how much a recall can cost your company. As part of a comprehensive approach to prevent foreign material contamination, the solid construction and innovative design of ProBin’s Ultimate Bulk Storage Bin is an effective way to help save time and money throughout the supply chain, and most importantly, ensure the safety of your customers.

Contact us today to learn more about how ProBin can help you eliminate the risk of contamination in your supply chain.