Plastic contaminants in food products is certainly a growing problem. The chances of physical hazard potential (choking and laceration) becasuse of these contaminants are clear to almost everyone.
Unfortunately, depending on the product, processing methods and intended use, a plastic contaminant can also introduce a chemical and/or biological hazard to the ultimate consumer. Obviously, our digestive system is not that strong and not every plastic formulation can pass through the body as dietary fiber. Melamine-containing materials, unapproved colorants and plastic compounds are excellent examples of chemical hazards. The presence of plastic contaminants in processed items may violate the sanctity of validated product, microbial contamination can certainly be initiated or catalyzed by these contaminants.
There are numerous ways of doing the autopsy OR RCA when the problem has happened, but having a fool proof system, where these incidents can't happen are the need of the hour.
I know that by incorporating new additives during manufacturing, broken pieces or fragments of plastic
materials mixed in with food products can be detected by a metal detector or x-ray inspection
system, enabling manufacturers to prevent contaminated products from reaching the market. There are a lot of new resin additives that impart metal detectability, x-ray contrast and
magnetic susceptibility into plastic moldings to protect consumers from plastic contaminated food
Many of the molders, suppliers and OEM's are offering detectable versions of existing products and the food manufacturers are demanding for it.
These should infact be in the HACCP plan for your organization, or one must try and strive to have this in their maintenance plan and slowly and gradually things will change for better.