Food safety is one of the growing concerns across the world. This also means increased oversight and regulatory changes for safety labs. Food safety labs offer solutions to alleviate these challenges while helping manufacturers comply with local and global regulations.
Services Offered By Food Safety Labs
Food safety laboratories offer a wide range of services that can be useful for companies in all industries. Some of the common laboratory tests and services include:
Gluten Content Analysis
Over three million people have celiac disease, and consuming foods with gluten triggers the production of antibodies that negatively impact the small intestine lining. The damage limits the ability to absorb nutrients and increases the risk of other serious health problems. That’s why the FDA issued a rule on “gluten-free” food labeling. Manufacturers use it on food labels if they meet all the requirements and regulations.
In this case, food safety labs analyze the products to determine their gluten products. They also use cutting-edge tools to ensure FDA compliance and assure gluten-sensitive consumers that your products are gluten-free.
The Environmental Protection Agency regulates pesticides. For this reason, you can have your products tested for a wide range of pesticides. A food safety lab is fully-equipped to screen your products for all these pesticides using reliable, accurate, and timely screening processes. They analyze your products’ crop production aids, fertilizers, pesticides, and everything used in your production environment to ensure they meet the state regulations. The professionals can also conduct field tests to ensure your production site is free of pesticides.
Using validated methodologies, a food safety lab screens for pathogens in food products and environmental samples. These methods measure the microbial activity in various foods, plants, and oils. They ensure the products are free of bacteria pathogens, viral pathogens, microbial toxins, parasites, and toxigenic bacteria. They also screen for spoilage organisms in wine, beer, dairy, poultry, pork, and beef products.
Moisture Content Analysis
Moisture content in food products has a huge impact on their appearance, texture, weight, shape, and taste. Deviating from the optimal moisture content can negatively affect numerous qualities of the food products. Overly dry foods often have a poor taste, while excessively moist foods can lead to microbial growth and spoilage. That’s why moisture content analysis is a key component of the food industry.
There are legal requirements that put specific limitations on the amount of moisture that can be legally present in every food product. Food safety labs provide moisture content analysis to ensure the products meet the legal requirements. The process also helps in accurately determining the product’s shelf life. This way, consumers are safe from consuming spoiled products.
While undeclared allergens might not affect most consumers, they can lead to adverse effects or even death for those with allergies. Therefore, your consumers must be aware of the allergens in your products to make informed decisions in their food choices. A food safety lab can screen your products for allergens like milk, egg, and peanut residues. Your products will be thoroughly screened for the presence of these allergens so you can warn your customers through labeling.
Should You Outsource Food Safety Testing Services?
You walk the extra yard to ensure that your food products are safe and of the highest quality. So, why should you send your products for testing in a lab that does not understand the effort you’ve put in preparing them? It might be tempting to invest in an in-house lab, but an external lab is the safest best. It offers multiple benefits, including:
An in-house safety lab requires you to invest in lab personnel and equipment. This means additional costs, which can put a strain on your company’s budget. You also eliminate the cost of attaining and maintaining accreditation for an in-house lab.
Running an in-house safety lab may come with several inconveniences that can lead to a huge drop in productivity. Your consumers may not be receptive to the delays and can shift to your competitors. However, third-party food safety labs have greater flexibility in enabling analysts to meet the quoted turn-around times. They also help with the consistent presentation of the results. That means auditors and regulators do not have to sort through different report templates.
Your products need to undergo multiple tests before you can label and release them to the market. In this case, you’ll have to invest in different equipment for every product. Still, if you encounter a problem with one of the test analyses, you might not have the solutions for getting retest results within a scheduled timeframe. However, a seasoned food safety lab offers options for all your testing needs based on the sample matrix and the desired turn-around time. The lab also presents more options that enable you to solve potential problems without causing unnecessary delays.
You may have optimal knowledge about your products, but you may not have the time to determine the best methods for food safety testing. This makes having a credible third-party lab the best option. The lab will have extensive experience analyzing different products and can give professional advice. They can help you with product types, environmental monitoring programs, allergen analysis, and shelf-life determination.
Consumers demand the ultimate confidence in food safety laboratory results. They are more likely to consume products with analysis results generated from impartial third-party labs. A food lab can also provide confidence to auditors and inspectors. In addition, they can serve as a trusted resource when litigation becomes necessary.
Food safety labs are on the front line to reduce the occurrence of sickness or death due to contaminated food. They provide all food establishments across the world with reliable product analysis and testing services. They use advanced technology and employ highly trained analysts for accurate and reliable results. Their services include rapid pathogen detection, nutritional analysis, microbial testing, raw material qualification, and allergen screening. You can partner with an accredited food safety lab today and discover how it can help your products meet your desired level of excellence and comply with the local/global requirements.