The money has been put towards equipment and food production site standard entry procedures which the company believes is the first time these have been introduced in a UK laboratory.
Eurofins’ microbiology staff will follow strict food facility entry procedures which involve removing external footwear and using a step-over barrier before wearing separate footwear to enter the lab area.
This will be combined with wearing hairnets, lab coats and using a hand-washing facility.
Usual procedures for lab entry are wearing an appropriate lab coat and washing hands before entry and when exiting.
In the last week, Eurofins Scientific has also acquired QC Laboratories (QCL) in the US and Experchem in Canada as it targets growth in the Americas market.
First lab in UK
Eurofins said it is the first laboratory to introduce the procedure, which started in early March and was finalised last month, in the UK.
Changes were designed to mirror standards and working practices that the company’s food industry customers insist on in their facilities and to minimise risk of contamination in the supply chain.
Chris Jones, Eurofins’ head of business improvement, said the entry procedures were needed to raise the bar from the rest of the industry in terms of good food practice.
“We believe these measures are an improvement on the existing practice of UK food laboratories,” he told FoodQualityNews.
“Although laboratories do face different contamination risks than the food industry, for example foreign objects are less of a problem in the laboratory, the cross contamination of bacteria is an issue that both industries share, and this something which we are driving to ensure we are best at managing in the industry.”
Jones added that the Nantes, France facility uses the same procedures.
The equipment includes autoclaves and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument.
Jones said: “We want to be the first choice provider of microbiology testing and are therefore investing significantly both in equipment and the facilities available to ensure our laboratory raises the bar to set world-class standards.
“The improvements we are implementing will allow Eurofins to continue to deliver the highest-quality of analytical services at industry-beating turnaround times (TAT) and ensure that at every step during the laboratory journey, the risk of contamination is completely minimised.”