It's one thing to take a "fresh," creative approach to product development. That's exactly what helped The Really Cool Food Company LLC grow as a processor of refrigerated meals, entrees, salads and side dishes.
On the other hand, there's no fooling around when it comes to food safety. So when Really Cool moved from New York City last year and built a $24 million plant in Cambridge City, Ind., officials say they were very picky about their inspection systems and checkweighers.
“Food safety is priority number one for us,” says Kevin King, vice president operations at The Really Cool Food Company. “We want to be the best at what we do so we always choose the best equipment and the best companies to support it. Given our focus on quality, Mettler-Toledo Safeline was the number one choice, hands down.”
Really Cood Food's 78,200-square-foot plant features AdvanChek x-ray inspection systems from Metter-Toledo Safeline and Beltweigh XE checkweighers from Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed.
King continues, "We contacted our Mettler-Toledo Safeline sales rep, Pete Haggard (of Action Services), to talk about metal detection. We told him we wanted the best inspection possible. Pete showed us the benefits and value of x-ray to find a wide variety of foreign material and ensure the highest level of food safety.
"Choosing between metal detection and x-ray inspection, we decided to spend a little more and detect a wider range of foreign materials."
AdvanChek detects metal as well as bone, glass, stones and other dense contaminants. In addition to detecting foreign material, the system detects product voids and can verify that product composition conforms to specifications.
At The Really Cool Food Company, the two x-ray systems inspect over 120 unique products on the lines that produce cooked proteins and combination meals packed in trays ranging in size from 12 ounces for single serve customers to 5 pounds for the deli case and foodservice customers.
“The x-ray systems are the easiest things in the plant to changeover," says King. "It takes maybe two minutes. What pleases me most about these systems, other than the detection capabilities of course, is the ease of operation. Our quality assurance manager and our operators are all very happy with the Safeline x-ray systems.”
He adds, “The first measure of success with the x-ray systems is food safety. Productivity is another important measure. With the Safeline systems, we haven’t spent even five minutes on maintenance since we installed them. We don’t always need to have a person standing there like we do with some other machinery. The reliability of the x-ray systems saves time, saves headaches and guarantees the food is safe.”
Adding to its end-of-line quality verification, The Really Food Company relies on two Beltweigh XE checkweighers from Mettler-Toledo Hi-Speed, which detect underfills and overfills.
“The Hi-Speed checkweighers track and record the weight of every package," King says. "We consider the variability and adjust the lines to get a better yield. Of course, the checkweighers also ensure the correct weight of every product, which is another way for us to assure we’re constantly providing our customers with the highest product quality." -- Mettler-Toledo Safeline