Are X-Ray Inspection Services Safe For Baby Food?

 

In April of 2015, the threat of potential glass contamination prompted baby food maker Beech-Nut to voluntarily recall more than 1,900 pounds of baby food, states the U.S. Department of Agriculture .

Beech Nut Baby Food Recall - Needs xrayAccording to a report in USA Today;

The manufacturer chose to issue the recall after a complaint of a consumer finding a small amount of glass in a jar and a report of an oral injury.

Had the broken glass issue been found prior to product distribution, Beech Nut could have potential saved over 90% of the production run using non-destructive testing with an x-ray machine, and avoided any brand embarrassment.

Oh, I know what your are thinking …

Won’t X-ray Radiation Effect Baby Food?

For a moment, let’s forget the discussion is about product testing, and let us talk about a similar and by far more common type of x-ray exposure to baby food.

The TSA Inspection of Baby Food and Breast Milk.

Traveling with a baby is a challenging and stressful process in and of itself; adding the concern of security check-ups and baby food supplies safety can nearly cause insanity.

Right?!

Safety of Baby Formula - Baby Food Packaging

Image Credit: AnkTangle 2011

Yet, while this is both a logical and common concern, voiced by mom’s traveling with baby food, it is unfounded.

We believe the main reason why mothers are concerned is because; according to BFAR.org;

It is not uncommon for mothers to be advised to “pump and dump” their milk for an arbitrary period of time subsequent to mammographic testing.

 

Nonetheless, this needless advise is given more out of excessive precaution for toward the maternal instincts of a pregnant women, than actual proven science.

Safety of Baby Formula and Other Baby Foods

That’s right it is safe to put powdered milk and baby food through an x-ray machine.

In fact, we will share a case study shortly to demonstration our knowledge in this area, but, for now digest the rest of the BFAR.org article…

While x-ray radiation does have the ability to mutate DNA such that any live cells that have been exposed to it may mutate, resulting in cellular dysfunction or uncontrolled replication (i.e., cancer), the pure energy type of radiation used in mammogram and CT scan testing does not collect in the milk and is therefore compatible with uninterrupted breastfeeding.

What make CXR Company so certain about the safety of x-ray on baby food?

We speak from years of experience.

Having worked with many brand names, [who for reasons of confidentially we cannot disclose], with similar concerns over the safety of x-ray testing of packaged baby food in glass jars for several decades.

In the early days of consumer packaging of baby food very few alternatives to glass packaging existed.

generic baby-food-jarsGlass was, at the time the most cost-effective and practical method — as it was perfectly suited for heating and sterilization of the food products being manufactured.

Sadly, glass baby food jars trend to crack and shatter leading to acute pieces of glass shards occasionally being found inside the baby food product and posing a threat to infants; such as in the Beech Nut recall mentioned at the beginning.

Fortunately, CXR Company had a solution back than to help detect consumer packaged goods (CPG) for potential foreign contaminant ; an answer still applicable today — 2D non destructive testing with X-ray.

For more on this topic see Do I need to worry about radiation >>>

The Impact of Baby Food Packaging Changes

Image Credit: According To Jenny

Image Credit: According To Jenny

As technology and package methods have evolved, recyclable plastics, metallic-type films, and non-toxic metal/ cardboard hybrids have mostly replaced glass as they require less money to produce, leave behind a lower carbon footprint, and present a minimal risk versus glass and tin cans.

It also gives consumers more choices as illustrated by a blog post on According to Jenny [see picture on right] comparing pouches versus jars of the very some brand.

Of course, this advanced in technology typically come with there own risks, especially when these CPGs are processed and/or manufactured oversees.

These concerns are a result of insufficient enough knowledge of the chemicals and material used to make the packaging.

One example is, the BPA fear of 2013 reported by Consumer Reports. Bisphenol A is a chemical formula used in plastics and epoxy that caused the Food and Drug Administration to ban the chemical composition from all food and beverage packaging, containers, and similar food storage components.

There have been many examples of baby food and similar CPGs who have undergone recall.

Some due to contamination and spoilage, others related to packaging issues – often leading to billions of dollars in losses and tarnished brand reputation.

Since concerns over the product and the manufacturing process weigh heavily on both the minds of the consumer [typically soccer moms], and the food processing manufacture; safe packaging, affordable pricing, and quality finished goods all need to be address before the baby food or other CPG is scheduled to ship out of the baby food manufacturing facility.

It is also, important to realize — not all non destructive x-ray inspection testing units are created equally. The case study below, demonstrates why…

Baby Formula Company Receives 100% Results in Blind Testing