Extended tests help food labs assess performance

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Lactic acid bacteria Bacteria

Lab M has extended its food lab proficiency testing scheme by
adding Lactic acid bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes and osmophilic
yeasts to its kits.

The UK-based company's Smart QA proficiency testing scheme is used by the food industry as ameans of providing documentary evidence of their laboratories' performance compared to their peers.

From 1 January 2007 the additionof further organisms to two of the test mixes takes the total number of tests covered formicrobiological quality checks to 15 from 13 . Reporting will now also include an annual resultssummary.

The company has now added Listeria monocytogenes enumeration and Lactic acid bacteria toits Standard Plus Mix kit and osmophilic yeasts to the Standard Mix one.

Smart QA now covers a total of 15 tests for Enterobacteriaceae, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella,Coliforms, Clostridium perfringens, Listeria spp., Escherichia coli, Enterococci, Escherichia coliO157, yeasts and moulds, Lactic acid bacteria, Pseudomonas spp., Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus.

Clients using the Smart QA scheme receive samples either monthly or every other month depending on the mix of organisms required.The food lab then tests the samples using the lab's normal protocols and send the results to Lab M forprocessing and analysis.

Lab M then compares the individual results with a reference range for each parameter and also with the average for all participants.The company's reports include a rolling score showing performance over the previous fourdistributions. It also includes a way to allow each person performing tests to submit results and receive an individual report.

Lab M supplies its Smart QA samples as milk powders and not as freeze-dried vials, more closely reflecting food testingconditions, the company stated. Three mixes of organisms are available - Standard, Standard Plus and Pathogen.This mix allows labs to select a combination to suit local needs.

Related topics Food Safety & Quality

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