Due to decades of chemistry-related advancements in consumer and industrial goods, we are continually finding new discoveries about the various groups of anthropogenic compounds with which we unfortunately share our planet. A quick scan of recent stories in the media indicates frequent public outcry about what’s released into our environment and how it affects us. Continue Reading

The mid- 2000s saw the rise of ractopamine as a prominent growth promoting agent for the meat industry. Suppliers in this industry are probably familiar with ractopamine, but manufacturers using meat in their products may not know much about its use and effects. We’ve pulled together the top 3 facts to know about ractopamine: Continue Reading

I once jokingly said during a presentation that there were at least 10 ways to sabotage your food pathogen testing program. While no conscientious food safety leader would set out to negatively impact their own program, the high attention to detail and constant organizational discipline required for an effective testing program leave some room for error. If any small step is not well designed and expertly executed, then your entire program may be worthless – or worse – may cost you millions due to a recall or human illnesses. One factor in particular that manufacturers need to focus their attention on is the reliability of their pathogen sampling and compositing (pooling) strategy, as well as the applicability of their pathogen method. Specifically, what test portion should be taken to ensure accurate results, and what method should be used when testing for the presence of pathogens? Continue Reading

Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) claims are being spotted more frequently on food labels as the debate over the health of GMO ingredients heats up. Many food manufacturers are trying to get ahead of the regulations by either disclosing the use of GMOs in their products or getting products certified as “Non-GMO.”

Many consumers don’t realize how long GMO foods have been on the market. The first commercially available GMO food made available on the market was a tomato in the 1990s! The rise of GMO foods brought a parallel demand for disclosure on food labels. Continue Reading

In preventing foodborne illnesses, several different factors play a pivotal role in safeguarding final products. Several recent recalls associated with Listeria monocytogenes are prompting food manufacturers to ensure their food safety management plans address all possible sources of in-plant contamination.

Listeria can be life-threatening to individuals with weakened immune systems, pregnant women or older adults. Dairy, prepared foods, produce and seafood were the matrices most commonly contaminated with Listeria over the past five years, according to data from the latest FDA Reportable Food Registry (RFR) report. Continue Reading

In the continuous pursuit of providing increased safety and quality for products in the food market, oft-times companies are required to think out of the box. As part of this multi-dimensional thinking, growing numbers of food companies are weighing the options for integrating third-party on-site laboratories into their production process. To this sometimes complex question – “should we go third party, on-site?” – there is a very simple answer – “it depends.”

The very nature of this response begs the dialogue for more information and more understanding. Initially, some participants in the process are not comfortable with the answer. But there are a number of common drivers for moving to a 3rd party, on site independent laboratory service provider, including: Continue Reading

Over the past decade, the food testing industry has adopted new methods and strategies to reduce turn-around-time and the total duration of testing methods. In addition to the tests themselves, many other factors must be considered when referencing total turn-around-time and the amount of time spent by your staff in filling out and submitting laboratory testing forms.

For a majority of laboratories, turn-around-time begins when the sample is received to start testing. Turn-around-time can be reduced logistically by the use of expedited shipping services and couriers, but the laboratory itself must manage processing the samples in a timely fashion once they hit the laboratory door. Continue Reading

Doing your homework is essential in choosing the “right” contract laboratory. In many ways, the lab you choose speaks volumes about your commitment to the safety and quality of your products. The failure to select an organization that can consistently deliver reliable results and services can have a negative rippling effect throughout your supply chain and undermine your safety and quality initiatives.

The following checklist provides some “food for thought” as you deliver over this all important decision. Continue Reading