FAQs

What is the inspection process?

AIS’ product inspection procedures are highly detailed and approved by major food manufacturers as well as ISO accredited.

Our service is flexible to the needs of each customer’s product and suspected quality problem. The first step is usually a free evaluation of a sample of your product (see ‘Free Sample Inspection‘), to confirm what we can achieve for your product and problem.

Below is a selection of common questions about what happens next. If your query is not answered here, please see our comprehensive Food Inspection and Product Inspection pages or ask our knowledgeable team who are on hand to help you.

What is AIS’ Free Sample Inspection?

Our Free Sample Inspection service offers a no obligation evaluation of what is achievable for your product and problem. Simply complete the form here and send a sample of your product for inspection at AIS’ premises.

This initial evaluation is reasonably immediate, confidential and free and we will always provide an honest appraisal of what is possible. All enquiries are treated as 100% confidential.

You can also call us – we can often evaluate the issue on the phone.

How soon can we start?

We can usually begin tests immediately upon receipt of your product sample and confirm the results of our appraisal the same day (see What is AIS’ Free Sample inspection?’ below).

The full inspection process would usually commence within 2 to 3 days, under normal circumstances, subject to the logistics of delivering product batches to our premises.

It has been possible to start inspection as quickly as the day after evaluation.

How long does it take to inspect the product?

The inspection time is dependent on the target defect or contaminant, the product and pack size, if it can be inspected in a case or has to be stripped from the case, re-shrunk wrapped etc.

A pallet can be as quick as 5 minutes or as long as two hours.

Request a Free Sample Inspection for AIS to evaluate your product and the likely timescale required for your particular problem.

You can also call us – we can often evaluate the issue on the phone.

How much does AIS’ inspection service cost?

Our x-ray inspection service is generally quoted at a simple per-item fee.

The pricing structure is based on the product inspection time plus any additional services such as shrink wrapping or relabelling. The cost is then converted into a ‘per-item’ (unit or case) price so you know exactly how much the inspection service will be.

The fee per item will be dependent on several factors including:

  • The fault or contaminant to be detected (eg. level of difficulty and time required)
  • The product size, quantity and value
  • Special requirements, urgency or expiry date(s) if applicable

We are confident that you will find our service fast, efficient and cost effective – even for relatively low value products.

Request a Free Sample Inspection for AIS to evaluate your product and problem.

Does AIS have frozen or chilled facilities?

We regularly provide a safe, fast and effective inspection service for frozen and chilled foods, however we do not offer freezers or refrigerated storage on the premises.

We have multiple hook up points and a large secure yard which can accommodate up to 10 refrigerated trailers.

Working directly from the trailers, each pallet is removed it is temperature monitored throughout the inspection process and then immediately returned to the trailer (or a spare trailer which is then replaced on the next load). A full trailer can usually be inspected and turned round in a few hours.

We regularly inspect chilled and frozen food for well-known brands and this has proven to be the most efficient method.

Does AIS have ISO9001 approval?

Yes we do, in fact we were the first specialist x-ray recovery provider in Europe to obtain the approval to operate a Quality Management System which complies with the requirements of ISO 9001.

Read more about how AIS can help you achieve the governmental and retailer requirements of contamination and recall incidents.

Does AIS provide transport?

We do not supply transport as we cannot match the rates and logistic resources of our clients.

Does AIS work 24 hours?

We have done, but generally we find it more efficient and manageable to extend the working day and bring into operation some of the additional equipment we always have available.

Is AIS open to audit of both our premises and procedures?

Absolutely, we are regularly audited by most of our customers and their clients.

Can you be present whilst your product is being inspected?

You are more than welcome to be present, from the first day of the inspection process until the last.

If you wish to meet the team or visit our premises, please get in touch and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

We aim to answer all your questions efficiently and succinctly without bombarding you with technical jargon. If, however, you wish to have a full technical briefing on the inspection equipment and techniques employed we are more than happy to provide this.

Is the x-ray equipment for hire?

Yes, some of our customisable x-ray inspection systems and metal detectors are available to rent at your premises. These can be hired, subject to availability, on flexible contract periods – usually for an immediate or short term requirement.

Find out more about X-Ray Equipment Hire.