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Staples ‘driving consumers into the arms of food safety enforcers’

Metal-free jumbo stapler debut launch

By Rachel Arthur+

Last updated on 03-Mar-2014 at 12:41 GMT2014-03-03T12:41:59Z

The stapleless stapler.
The stapleless stapler.

Detectamet is launching a jumbo version of its stapleless stapler, to avoid using metal staples or loose sheets of paper in a food production area.

The technology is currently in its development stage and will be available to buy in July.

Contamination risk

Sean Smith, CEO, Detectamet, told food processing areas are usually staple free zones.

The simple fact is the potential contamination risk,” he said. “Staples are such small fragments that are hard to detect by the eye. Manufacturers also want to reduce the number of loose papers flying around.”

If metal items enter the food production it can lead to costly recalls for manufacturers and damage to the brand’s reputation.

In October, US manufacturer Turkey Hill Dairy recalled packs of ice cream due to the possibility that some packages had metal shavings in them.

The stapleless stapler is used in the same way as the conventional tool, but cuts a tab into the paper and folds it into itself without using staples. The current version can join up to four sheets of paper, but Smith said the jumbo technology will be able to accommodate eight to nine sheets.

'Cuts, stitches, tucks'

It cuts, stitches and tucks all in one. It really is a quick and efficient process. There are no staples and no cut away paper to contaminate. What keeps it together is the way it is stitched," he added.

It now has the added benefit of being manufactured from detectable plastic. If the stapler is broken into pieces of plastic, that plastic will be picked up by the metal detector.”

The tool offers environmental benefits as metal staplers are not needed and there is no paper waste, Smith added.  

Detectamet designs, manufactures and supplies x-ray and metal detectable products, used by the food and pharmaceutical industries. “We have been campaigning to eliminate metal staples from the food industry for the past two years,” said Smith.

Personal experience of finding a used staple in a sandwich can drive a consumer into the arms of the food safety enforcers. In my case I wanted to encourage the food industry to use metal free stapling.”

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