What should I look for when selecting a metal detectable pen

As metal detectable products become more and more common within the food industry, there are a number of factors to consider when selecting your metal detectable stationery.


Is the most detectable pen the best option?

While it may sound counterintuitive, the pen made from the most detectable plastic might not be the best option.

To make a plastic detectable, small amounts of ferrous material are added to the plastic mix. Simple put, by putting more ferrous material in the mix, the more detectable the plastic is. However, this both makes the plastic more brittle, and decreases its strength. When it comes to a smaller item like a pen; this can be detrimental. A more brittle plastic will increase the chance of losing a small part such as a clip, and also cause the product to splinter in a lot of small parts should it suffer impact.

The risk then obviously is that piece too small to be detected, but large enough to be a serious health concern will make its way into your food product.

In essence – a less detectable pen that stays in one piece is a lot safer then a more detectable option that risks breakage.


Does it have a spring?

An important factor in considering pen options is whether or not the pen includes a spring.

Most food safety regulators consider springs to be a high risk contaminant, and typically ban these from food processing environments. A spring is typically too small to be detected by metal detection equipment, and poses a serious safety risk if present in food.


Does it have a lanyard loop?

Auditors will generally recommend securing pens to a clipboard or secure object to reduce foreign object risk. Ensuring the pen you choose has a large lanyard loop for easy securing is crucial.