If you’re in the market for food inspection equipment, it might seem like there are no clear guidelines about how you should approach the choice. You probably know it’s really important that you make a good decision, but you might not have a sense of how to do that. The following will look at several useful tips you can employ to help you find the right food inspection equipment for you and your situation.
Why Is Food Inspection Important?
No one is perfect, and this means that no one who’s crafting food is perfect. Contaminants and dangerous additives can make their way into food by accident. Should something happen to someone who eats your food because of this kind of accident, you need to be able to prove that you did everything in your power to protect them. Negligence can be considered a serious crime; it can even lead to wrongful death. If you’re making food for people, it’s your responsibility to be transparent about the ingredients in that food and to ensure that nothing else is sneaking its way into what you’re offering people.
Know Your Legal Requirements
Before you begin your search for food inspection equipment, you need to take a moment to figure out what your legal requirements are. There’s a good chance you’re allowed a certain amount of undesirable things within your food, like human hair or bugs; often, however, it’s a very small amount. There are likely also restrictions regarding heavy metals and other contaminants that have been found in food within your niche in the past. There will also be things that aren’t allowed at all in your food due to their health implications or the grossness of eating them. It’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer about the specifics of the legal standards within your food niche; this is because the law is highly complicated, and it’s easy to misunderstand aspects of it as someone without a law degree.
Figure Out Your Specific Requirements
Once you have a list of the legal requirement you need to meet, it’s also prudent to study the particular facility or facilities you’ll be preparing the food within. There are likely specific contaminants that you need to take note of. Perhaps there are rusty pipes near the door, and you want to be especially cognizant of rust fragments getting into the food. Maybe there are types of insects where you work that want to get into food. Perhaps slivers from the containers your packages come in could potentially get mixed into the food. You may want to do a walk-through with a professional inspector who can warn you about possible problems.
Finally, you want to get the air, and the water in your production facility tested to see if there are levels of contaminants to be found. If, for instance, your water has an extremely high chlorine content, you might want to filter the water before you use it in food preparation. Likewise, you may need air filters within your facility if there are toxins or problematic substances in the air.
Limit Your Search By Contaminants
Once you’ve done all three of the above checks, you’ll have a good idea of the potential risks, given your food niche and the environment you’re preparing food within. When you’re searching for food inspection equipment, you want to look for options that help you find the particular contaminants on your list.
If you’re looking for food inspection equipment, you’re almost certainly running a business, and this means that the financial cost of choices you make is a contributing factor to whether your business succeeds or not. Take a moment to go over your financials and figure out what you can spend. Know that if purchasing equipment outright isn’t an option for you, there is food inspection equipment available for renting. You also want to consider the financial cost of maintenance and perhaps consider a manufacturer that has a warranty or a troubleshooting department that will come and take a look at your equipment if something goes wrong.
Sizing And Quantity
Once you’ve limited your equipment options by the ability to recognize the particular contaminants you’re looking for and your budget, you can then consider the size of the food products you need to be inspecting and the number of items you need to be inspecting. This can help you quickly narrow down your options to a few choices.
Foremost, you want a piece of equipment that can easily and comfortably work with packages or food items of the size you produce. If an item is too big for a given machine, there’s a greater chance that the edges of the food item will get missed, and contaminants might make their way past your checkpoints.
Secondly, you ideally want something that can complete inspections at the rate that you produce, with room to complete more inspections in a given day or week should you start producing more. Leaving room for business growth is an important aspect of making your selection, as you don’t want to have to suddenly buy a whole new piece of equipment if your business grows a little.
Read Online Reviews
Once you have narrowed down your options by the above criteria, it’s a good idea to look at reviews from other users of the equipment to help you make your final choice. Put in the effort to critically read the reviews you find, paying special attention to reviews that feel too good to be true or so scathing it seems impossible that a provider is still in business. If possible, click on the reviewer’s name to see what else they reviewed. This will give you a sense of whether a given person is just optimistic or negative. You also want to pay attention to reviews that were written by people doing similar work to the work you’re doing; they’ll have a better understanding of how a given piece of equipment works within the context you’ll be using it.
The above outline should give you a solid framework within which you can search for food inspection equipment. If there are any certifications within your particular food niche that apply, you also want to look for equipment that has these certifications. It’s worth noting that no food inspection equipment overrides the need for proper health and safety protocols.