Costco Requires X-ray Inspection Use From Suppliers

Jan 25, 2023

By April of 2023, Costco requires X-ray inspection devices for foreign material control.

For OEMS, suppliers, and manufacturing operators who do business with Costco, the checklist just got longer.

Effective April 1st, the Washington-based wholesale chain will require most food suppliers to use, or install, X-ray inspection devices to prevent foreign material contamination. The announcement came with Costco’s recently released ‘Food Safety and Quality Audit Expectations’ —an updated document listing requirements for Costco’s suppliers.

The reason? Costco requires x-ray as part of audit information that Costco’s Food Audit Safety Team will use to audit suppliers. The document mentions that Costco’s buying staff will also use the audit information for purchasing decisions.

The section on ‘Foreign Material Control,’ goes into more detail. As part of listed requirements for a foreign material control plan, it states that “all manufacturing operations must have a properly installed and calibrated X-ray detection device for finished product.” Costco lists exceptions—namely, machines with existing material contamination controls that process “shell eggs, whole raw agricultural commodities, whole roasted coffee beans, whole muscle meats, and packaging products.” 

Further exceptions include circumstances where “product texture, density, or chemical composition is such that it limits the performance of the X-ray technology to an unacceptable level,” as well as operations with a “physical barrier (e.g. filter, screen, sieve) that’s appropriately sized and placed.” This section specifies that exempted operations still need metal detectors, integrity checks at a ‘defined frequency’ and a clear record of “good manufacturing practices and prerequisite programs to mitigate foreign material contamination.” 

The X-ray requirement includes a warning—manufacturing facilities that haven’t installed a detection device by the time of their Costco anniversary audit will fail automatically. So now that Costco requires X-ray, OEM’s and operators who sell products to Costco might be in a scramble for quick machinery. Frain Industries can help.

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