News | January 7, 2009

Missa Bay Tackles Food Safety Concerns With Metal Detectors


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Product Sheet: PowerPhasePLUS RB: Metal Detection

As food safety becomes an even stronger focus in the restaurant and foodservice industries, do you know how to safeguard your products and protect your brands? We recently sat down with Sal Tedesco, Chief Operations Officer of Missa Bay, to discuss how they addressed the challenge that was presented to them several years ago.

Challenge: Metal detection is a critical control point at Missa Bay. Having a metal detector operating on every production line is an important safety measurement. Food safety at Missa Bay will never be compromised. If a metal detector is out of service, we stop production on that line. We are always in search of continuous improvement, and as technology enhancements and new technologies are developed, we always want to stay ahead of the latest innovations so that we are positioned front and center to provide our customers with the best quality products. We recognized an opportunity to further positively impact our productivity as well as our overall product quality.

Solution: We looked at metal detectors from several suppliers. Primarily, we considered four things: consistent detection sensitivity, equipment uptime, sanitation and service. We selected PowerPhasePLUS metal detectors from Mettler-Toledo Safeline. We now have more than 30 Safeline metal detectors – one on each of our production lines – and we could not be happier.

At Missa Bay, our dedication to producing the highest product quality has led us to become one of the leading fresh prepared foods and produce companies in the U.S. Customers including McDonald's® USA, LLC and Wawa know they can count on us to deliver products that meet or exceed their expectations – products that are worthy of being sold under their brand names. We've worked hard over the years to earn that trust and never rest on our laurels.

When we started out in 1977, Missa Bay was a fresh produce re-packer and distributor. In the 1990s, we recognized that customers were starting to look for healthier, more convenient "Grab N' Go" meals so we seized that opportunity by developing a production line of commissary-prepared upscale salads and fresh cut produce packs.

Today, our products range from pre-cut fresh fruit, salads, Grab N' Go snacks, wet salads and hot foods. Everything we produce is private label. From three manufacturing plants, we distribute to the North East corridor from Maine to Florida and as far west as Ohio. Focused on fresh, ready to eat, high quality foods, we offer innovative products that are healthy, convenient and affordable. Our ability to consistently satisfy our customers has led us to continued positive growth for our business.

Eight years ago, when we decided to update our metal detectors, we turned to Joe Young at Reliant Packaging. He had sold us other equipment in the past and we knew that he represents industry leading equipment and stands behind what he sells. Joe suggested the PowerPhasePLUS metal detectors from Safeline. We installed the first one eight years ago. Since then, we've added 32 more, replacing older technology and equipping new production lines.

We've been impressed with the Safeline metal detectors. We assure consistent sensitivity to all possible types of metal contamination – ferrous, non-ferrous and stainless steel – by validating every single detector every 30 minutes. The Safeline detectors give us confidence that the products we produce for our customers are safe. And the Safeline detectors require very little maintenance, both in terms of planned and unplanned downtime, which increases our productivity.

We just bought 11 new Safeline metal detectors for our 11 new sandwich lines. In terms of installation, they are drop and go. We roll them out of the crate, plug them in and in 30 minutes, the machine is up and running. At this point, all our metal detectors are Safeline PowerPhasePLUS.

At two of our three production facilities, we operate two shifts a day, followed by a sanitation shift, five days a week. In the plant that produces commissary products, we operate one shift a day, plus a sanitation shift, seven days a week. Sanitation is another critical area that helps us assure we're producing the highest quality products.

During the sanitation shift, the high-temperature, high-pressure washdown causes the temperature and the humidity in the room to soar. It's important that the Safeline metal detectors are NEMA 4X rated. They handle the temperature extremes and they're watertight so the electronics are not compromised during the washdown. This eases our sanitation routine and helps maintain our productivity by eliminating unplanned downtime associated with water ingression.

Within our product line of fresh prepared foods and produce companies, we offer a wide range of products and packages. One of our smaller items size-wise are the Apple Dippers, which we produce for McDonald's USA, LLC and pack in hermetically sealed, 2.4 oz flexible pouches that show the McDonald's logo and Ronald McDonald®. We also produce a 3-compartment snack-size product for McDonald's that includes apples, grapes, yogurt and walnuts packed in a plastic tray with a film lid. Among our larger-size products for McDonald's are the foodservice items such as trays of sliced tomatoes.

For Wawa, we produce an enormous variety of products. In fact, Wawa touches almost all of our 33 production lines. The PowerPhasePLUS metal detectors are versatile enough to handle all these products, which has allowed us to equip each of our 33 lines with the exact same metal detector. This strategy eases operator training and helps us simplify maintenance and reduce our spare parts inventory.

We measure the success of the metal detectors based on the safety of the end user – our clients' customers. It's all about keeping our clients and their customers happy, satisfied and most importantly, safe. Safeline is phenomenal from both an equipment and a service perspective.

* McDonald's and Ronald McDonald are trademarks of McDonald's Corporation and its affiliates, used with permission.

Click Here To Download:
Product Sheet: PowerPhasePLUS RB: Metal Detection