Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., Minneapolis, has opened a new product contamination evaluation facility in Sugar Land, Texas, to help food and pharmaceutical manufacturers address safety and quality issues.

Called Product Assurance Services and Solutions (PASS), the facility offers rapid response for companies requiring thorough offsite packaged product evaluation due to foreign object contamination concerns. Additionally, it can review products for processing anomalies (such as clumps) as well as missing components (empty pharmaceutical blisters, partially-filled candy trays, etc.).

“We are here to help customers get answers quickly and accurately so that product recalls are avoided,” says Carl Palmer, PASS manager, North America. “Since we manufacture and sell state-of-the art metal detectors and x-ray equipment globally, we have access to the very latest technology and know the ideal operating parameters. If needed, we also can quickly obtain additional equipment to facilitate rapid evaluation of multiple truckload quantities.”

According to Thermo Fisher Scientific, companies send product to the PASS facility for three reasons: They suspect their inspection system missed a contaminant due to calibration or other issues. They believe a contaminant may be present, but they don’t have the means to detect for it. They suspect a contaminant may have entered the package after detection took place.

PASS facility inspection capabilities can handle a broad range of metal, glass, plastic or paper packaging types. This includes both rigid and flexible structures such as steel cans, metalized film, plastic bottles, blister packs, folding cartons, multilayer materials and more.