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How to solve the issue of physical hazards in meat and bone meal

Besides biological and chemical hazards like Salmonella and Mycotoxins, physical hazards can also contaminate the raw materials used for petfood.

The FEDIAF Guide to Good Practice for The Manufacture of Safe Pet Foods lists several physical hazards – all of which can be easily detected and rejected via the implementation of optical sorting technology.

Rendering facilities are now responding to these hazards by integrating optical sorting equipment in their processing lines.




One of the most common defects in poultry by-product are chicken plucking fingers. Due to the hammer mill, it only takes one of these rubber objects to fragment into thousands of tiny colored pieces which stand out in the final product.


Manual sorting increases the risk of foreign materials being introduced in the production process; glasses, watches and even pieces of lighting can make their way into the product.



Hard and Soft Plastic

Hard plastic is one of the most common physical hazards and can come in many forms: fragments of handling bins, weasand clips, pieces of a belt scraper, identification badges, pens, etc. Colored plastics, in particular, stand out in the final product.


Metal pieces like screws, bolts, pins etc. are one of the only physical hazards for which there is a detection solution: metal detectors.


Wood and Stones



Wood and stones can occasionally be found in animals’ stomachs. Outside factors, however, can also play a role in the introduction of these foreign bodies.

Embracing optical sorting technology not only protects your brand and ensures a safe and high-quality product, it also equips processors with the competitive edge needed to succeed in a highly competitive petfood supplier market. Processors that implement optical sorters will, without a doubt, increase their market share.

Talk to one of our Meat & Bone Meal Sorting Experts today and find out how optical sorting can work for you.


Topics: Defect Sorting, petfood

Bregt Verleden

Written by Bregt Verleden

Business Development Specialist - Petfood