Great Kitchens Pizzas, United States of America
Great Kitchens Inc is one of the largest 'private-label' manufacturers of frozen pizzas and appetisers in the US retail sector. Great Kitchens' production facility is located in Addison, Illinois and specialises in the 'Take & Bake', or 'Deli' pizza market, supplying retail, convenience and wholesale retailers across the US with a range of pizzas, appetisers and assorted sandwiches.
Products include filled breads and bakes, grilled cheese, Stromboli, wraps, deli meat and breakfast. Appetisers include potato skins, mini quesadillas, mini bagels, sausage wraps, meat balls with sauce and jalapeno stuffed peppers, as well as tomato crostini and shrimp Florentine stuffed mushrooms.
Pizzas are produced in a wide range of varieties and sizes, including mini, individual, French bread, Chicago-style deep dish, 12in traditional and family size (12in, 14in, 16in and 18in). Flavours include classic cheese, pepperoni, sausage, Hawaiian-style, Four Cheese and Pepperoni, Chicken Italiano and Carne Asada.
The company operates from its 40,000ft² manufacturing facility which has four fully flexible production lines and is capable of both manufacturing and cryogenically freezing the products. Each line can produce 50,000 pizzas per day.
Because of the high quality of the food produced, Great Kitchens has a reputation to protect and needed to ensure the safety of all the products coming from its production lines. As one security measure for this the company has introduced new metal detection systems on all of its production lines.
The PowerPhasePLUS (Safeline) metal detectors were obtained from Mettler Toledo in the US and were installed in November 2007 on all four production lines.
The PowerPhasePLUS metal detectors (Safeline in the UK) are designed to detect and pinpoint all types of metal contamination in products. This includes ferrous and non-ferrous tramp metal as well as stainless steel fragments, which could come from machinery in the production line.
The sensitivity of the equipment is enhanced by the use of a Faraday Screen between the detector coil and the product to filter out any unwanted frequencies. This also vastly reduces any false signals which could cause any one of the lines to be taken down.
One of the problems at the facility was the varying environment. During working shifts the humidity can increase during the wash down process and during production there could be variations in temperature from 45 to 48°F. The metal detectors are designed to handle the extreme conditions and also the pressure washing required during the cleaning cycle.
The metal detectors are operated via an IP36K-rated control panel and the detectors exceed the required NEMA 4X specifications. The detectors are tested every 15 minutes during the production line operation to ensure efficient operation. There is also an inbuilt security system which requires a code to change the operating parameters of the metal detector.