Canadian Packaging

The Wheels on the Bus

Food and safety event better educates visitors with the help of interactive demo bus


December 5, 2019
Alanna Fairey

Life is all about taking risks, but not where food and drinks are concerned.

To teach food and beverage businesses about how to minimize risks, NSF International hosted a half-day innovation breakfast at their Guelph, Ont.-based facility back on Oct. 17, 2019.

The purpose of the event was for attendees to gain insight, tools and techniques to strengthen their business and identify gaps and opportunities.

Supported and sponsored by product inspection specialists METTLER TOLEDO Canada Inc., attendees also had the unique opportunity to take a tour of the METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Demo Bus.

With the NSF event centering on food safety and reducing risk, attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the recent advancements in product inspection technology from suppliers like METTLER TOLEDO, as well as other food processors and producers.

Key learnings and important issues addressed by the NSF session included:

  • Using root cause analysis methodology (Ishikawa, 6M, fishbone) to identify potential for error and opportunities to strengthen your food safety management system
  • Effective supply chain control
  • Hazard analyses and risk classifications of ingredients and raw materials
  • Supplier verification activities and how the importer is verifying the supplier

Before the hands-on experience on the Demo Bus, attendees became better informed about food contamination thanks to informative presentations.

Once the registration breakfast and opening remarks were completed, Iain Wright, technical manager, NSF Training and Education Services, kicked off presentations.

Hosting two of the three presentations for the event, Wright’s first presentation was called Practical Root Cause Analysis for Allergen Management and his final presentation was titled Developing a Supply Chain Program for Regulatory and GFSI Compliance, in which both presentations emphasized different ways to prevent further issues from developing.

Robert Rogers, senior advisor for food and safety regulations at METTLER TOLEDO, gave a compelling presentation titled Developing a Robust Inspection Program, which reiterates that food and pharmaceutical product manufacturers have an obligation to comply with industry legislation and regulation by having an effective process.

The aim of Roger’s presentation was to enlighten attendees about the importance of doing thorough inspections throughout the process.

“The presentation included an overview of inspection technology including metal detection, X-Ray inspection, in-line checkweighing and camera- based vision inspection solutions,” Rogers told Canadian Packaging in a recent interview.

“The discussion included factors effecting performance of inspection solutions as well as implementing them into a robust product inspection program through proper validation, verification and documentation.”

Rogers’ presentation was a timely one, as he reflects that there have been far too many recalls that could have been prevented through robust product inspection solutions and processes on a global scale.

Rogers believes that food risk prevention begins with having a robust inspection system throughout the process, as it will eliminate the contamination before it makes its way to end-of-line.

Larry Swift of Shawpak Systems Ltd. (Pictured back) poses with Chris Fryer of Shawpak Systems (Right), Robert Rogers of METTLER TOLEDO and Simon Cox also of Shawpak Systems, in front of the METTLER TOLEDO Product Inspection Demo bus.

“Often times, inspection systems are adjusted to correct an issue with what is believed to be with the system without confirming the true root cause and without validating the effect of the adjustment,” Rogers explains.

“Validation helps to determine what is possible and verification ensures what we validated is still possible.

Adds Rogers: “Providing inspection solutions throughout the process rather than simple end-ofline inspection ensures non-conforming products are removed earlier in the process, reducing waste and improving efficiencies.”

Tying in with Wright and Rogers’ presentation that day was the presence of the Demo Bus.

Exclusively represented by Shawpak Systems Ltd. across Canada, the Demo Bus provides guests and attendees with a hands-on training opportunity for processors and packagers to gain specific knowledge about how to limit product waste and contamination in their plants.

Staffed by a technical trainer, the bus features the latest technology in checkweighers, metal detectors, and X-Ray inspection systems and offers interactive machine and product testing demonstrations.

“The primary function of the bus is to visit customers direct at their plant location, as not everyone who interacts with Product Inspection Equipment on a daily basis gets to visit the trade shows to see the latest innovations in Product Inspection Equipment,” says Shawpak sales agent Larry Swift.

“The second function is to visit Food Safety Seminars such as the NSF event.

Adds Swift: “this is then an opportunity for the attendees to see the due diligence talked about at the event live on the equipment.”

Since the NSF Conference had a predominant emphasis on food safety, the presence of the Demo Bus was meant to demonstrate to attendees what the true value of a due diligence package on product inspection equipment is, and that there was more education on effective food safety standards.

“It was also important to reiterate to the visitors on the bus that with the recent advancements in product inspection technology from suppliers like METTLER TOLEDO, food producers and processors now have the most technically advanced tools there has every been available in this market place,” Swift adds.

“These advanced inspection systems when installed and utilized correctly can truly provide the assistance required in their food safety program to ensure only safe food products leave their plant.”

NSF technical manager and presenter Iain Wright proudly poses with NSF manager of training programs Leigh Parsons after the informative conference.

The inimitable combination of the educational presentations and the tour of the Demo Bus resulted in a successful day, with attendees walking away with a better understanding of what it means to have proper food safety regulations in place.

Asked what he hopes that attendees took away from the overall conference, Rogers says, “hopefully the importance of understanding the technologies, value of inspections throughout the supply chain and process.”

For Swift, the presence of the Demo Bus is a testament to the hard work that happens behind the scenes to ensure that no contaminants inadvertently make their way into the food products before they are distributed.

Reminding interested customers that they can contact Shawpak directly to request a tour of the Demo Bus, Swift believes that the bus helps visitors to see the technology of the future.

“Having the bus at the NSF event was an excellent opportunity for the attendees to actually visualize the equipment being discussed during the event,” Swift concludes proudly.

“The bus also gives visitors the chance to see the latest innovations, such as the Profile Advantage Metal Detector, which is also a major step change within the industry.”

– Photos by CP Staff


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