The upgraded accredited testing lab, QPRO | SAI Global Pty, has a primary focus on food, environmental, water and beverage microbiological testing including Salmonella, E. coli and staph aureus.
SAI Global acquired QPRO in July 2013 and invested R3.2m (€0.19m) to upgrade and expand the existing and only facility in the country by 230m².
Investment and accredited methods
Investment included additional equipment to expand analysis capacity such as fume cupboards, test benches, water distillers and incubators.
The laboratory has 26 accredited methods and is one of three facilities in South Africa delivering accredited testing for Legionella.
It offers certification services to clients in South Africa including BRC and IFS Certification: Food, Storage and Distribution, Packaging, ISO Certification: 22000 (Food Safety Management), 14001 (Environmental Management Systems), 9001 (Quality Management Systems), 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety Standard), seafood and retail services.
The lab will be primarily used by food and beverage organisations in South Africa who need a service concentrating on food, environmental, water and beverage microbiological testing.
It has a team of 16 specialists and supports students and employs three in-service trainees every year.
Additional employment opportunities will come due to the capacity to handle more samples.
Move to meet current and future demand
SAI Global said it has identified the importance of investing in new and different food capabilities and expertise within the South African market.
“The strategic agreement to invest in the South African market aligns with a core philosophy of SAI Global, to safeguard against the ever-increasing risk of food contamination. We want consumers around the globe to be confident in the food they buy.
“With a growing number of customers based in South Africa, expanding our laboratory facilities to meet current and future demand makes good sense.”
Attending the (Johannesburg) opening were Peter Mullins, CEO at SAI Global and Anne Scorey, SAI Global Regional Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa and representatives from South African food organisations.
SAI Global has its head office in Sydney, Australia and employs around 2,000 people across 29 countries with 51 locations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, North America and Asia.