Cultivating quality using metal detection equipment

Mushroom producer relies on metal detection as a crucial part of its process to maximize food safety and product quality.

Oakshire Mushroom Farm is an award-winning innovator and patent holder in the mushroom industry. In business for more than 31 years, the fungi producer develops, grows and packs its own OAKSHIRE branded products as well as DOLE® mushrooms, as the exclusive licensee in North America. When Oakshire needed a new metal detector to accommodate rising demand, it turned to Mettler-Toledo Safeline and selected a Signature Touch to maximize food safety and final product quality.
 
“Before purchasing our first metal detectors, we went to trade shows and considered four different suppliers. Mettler-Toledo Safeline stood out, so we bought three of their systems,” says Stephen Anania, director of operations. “Last year, we needed another one and decided to stay with Mettler-Toledo because of the great equipment reliability and customer service." 
 
According to Maintenance Manager Steven Lathe, installion of the equipment was easy. “Just put it in place, level it and plug it in," he states. "From a maintenance perspective, I never have to think about this metal detector – it just runs and runs and runs.” 
 
Mushrooms are grown in wooden beds held together with nails and screws, so metal detection is a crucial part of our process, explains Lathe. “It’s extremely important that none of that metal gets mixed in with the product and goes out the door.”
 
Safeline metal detectors find ferrous and non-ferrous tramp metal, as well as difficult to detect non-magnetic stainless steel fragments and non-spherical fine wire fragments. With high frequency advanced coil technology and dynamic filtering techniques, these systems maximize detection sensitivity and stability. “We check the performance of our metal detectors every hour by running test strips through,” adds Mike Morrison, QC manager. “The sensitivity on the Signature Touch is the best we’ve ever seen.”
 
The aperture on the Signature Touch at Oakshire is large, allowing it to accommodate a wide assortment of package sizes. With an opening 20 inches wide and 9 inches high, it can inspect lugs of incoming product as well as the final product quality of retail-sized tills and 10-lb. bulk packages for foodservice customers.
 
“Product safety is our most important objective. That’s why we rely so much on our metal detectors,” concluds Morrison. “The Signature Touch is a huge part of how we ensure we’re putting out the high quality mushrooms that Oakshire is known for.”

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