Health Affairs: A Food Safety Test We Have Yet To Pass

The distinguished health policy journal, Health Affairs, posted the article, A Food Safety Test We Have Yet To Pass, on its Health Affairs Blog.  The article, authored by Robin Stombler, Director of the Food Laboratory Alliance, explains that results of food laboratory tests can mean the difference between sickness or health.

Survey Assesses Current State of Testing: Food Quality & Safety article

Survey asked food laboratory directors, quality assurance managers, and technical supervisors to assess the current state of food testing. “Microbiologics, a global provider of biological reference materials used in laboratory quality control processes, commissioned the third-party survey to ascertain the level of laboratory standards currently employed by food laboratories.” Results were published in the June/July 2015 edition of Food Quality and Safety.

Twitter Chat #foodlab on April 7th!

In recognition of World Health Day, the Food Laboratory Alliance will host its first Twitter chat on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 from 1 to 2 pm (eastern). The chat will discuss the role of testing in food safety and will examine the standards necessary for food laboratories to maintain.

Anyone may view or participate in the conversation by using the hashtag #foodlab on Twitter. The Food Laboratory Alliance moderator will pose a number of questions intended to encourage an interactive dialogue among audience participants.  Join us!

 

Food Laboratories Urge FDA to Expand Environmental Monitoring in FSMA Rule: Food Chemical News

“Food laboratories are pleased FDA added product testing and environmental monitoring as verification tools to the latest Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules,” notes article by Joan Murphy in Food Chemical News. The article captures comments from the Food Laboratory Alliance in further stating, “FDA should move ahead with the FSMA provision that requires the agency to establish an accreditation program for laboratories that test food.”

It Might Be E. coli: Food Safety Magazine

“Plenty is riding on the results of that laboratory test,” notes It Might Be E. Coli article in Food Safety Magazine.  “If a laboratory reports that no E. coli is present in the food sample, then the product might proceed to market.  If the results were incorrect, people may be sickened or die.  In the reverse, if the laboratory wrongly reports the presence of a pathogen, the food product may be destroyed, causing economic losses to the food producer.”

Shiga Toxin-producing E. coli Subject of AME Food Testing Show

Andy Moreno, host of the popular AME Food Testing Show interviewed American Proficiency Institute’s (API) Food Technical Specialist, Christopher Snabes, BS, MS, CFS, regarding the API proficiency testing study on the accuracy of non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli testing. The radio program is available for listening at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ame-foodtestingshow/2014/09/24/api-study-on-the-accuracy-of-non-o157h7-shiga-toxin-producing-e-coli-testing

The interview discussed the technical aspects of non-O157:H7 Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) testing.  Mr. Moreno also asked why the test was important to food producers. “The last thing a food producer wants to do is make their customers sick,” explained Snabes. “Food producers do their due diligence in protecting the consumer when they perform the non-O157 STEC analysis.”

Snabes further noted, “Laboratories can measure the accuracy of their results by enrolling in an accredited STEC proficiency testing program.”

“While the food industry is aware of the impact of STECs, some companies choose not to test until mandated to do so,” added Snabes.