Product recalls impact both financially and reputationally and in many cases could be avoided by using effective Quality Control (QC) tools. For laboratories, QC tools include an external reference point, which the laboratory has no direct control over. Tools such as proficiency testing (PT) and reference materials (RM) obtained from an external, independent, reputable source are key means of external quality assurance.
Recent results from customer research shows that Fapas is the first supplier of choice for many organisations seeking accreditation for their laboratories or assuring the safety of foods, often recognised for producing high-quality tests, supported by excellent customer service and valuable results reporting. This is vital for the food industry, which has experienced many press headlines recently highlighting various issues of deliberate adulteration to adventitious contamination.
Adulteration occurs for many reasons, the main one being economic gain, that is to say diluting a product with an undeclared cheaper ingredient. Contamination on the other hand is due to poor handling practices of ingredients, with contamination levels at sub-percent concentrations. With recent headlines being littered with product recalls and outbreaks of sickness resulting from ingestion of from E. coli or Listeria, ensuring your quality control measures are up to standard is vital in order to produce high quality products.
Accredited by UKAS to ISO 17043 and recognised as the global leader in PT for nearly 30 years, we are delighted to announce that our new Fapas 2019-20 programmes are available for order online via www.fapas.com. Tests are available to order until the end of March 2020. Of course, you can also still order any tests that you need from the remainder of the current 2018 programme, as well as new quality control and reference materials becoming available all the time.
Highlights in the new programme:
We have launched a new multi-analyte, cross-series test for processed food, this new test allows you to cover many parameters for a finished product for a wide range of possible analytes. The analytes cover a range of nutritional components, illegal dyes, metallic contaminants and allergens, intended to simulate a real-world challenge, allowing official control laboratories to test finished product food samples that arrive without warning. Combining several analytes into one multi-analyte PT material can offer time savings for the laboratory as well as cost effectiveness.
- Six new tests in our Food Microbiology scheme
- New swimming pool and bathing waters tests
- Re-introduced tests for Dioxins, PCBs & PBDEs
- New test for PAHs in shellfish & perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in sea fish
- New tests for ergot alkaloids in baby food and tropane alkaloids in cereal
- New Wine PT (covering over 60 analytes)
New data interpretation features:This month sees the launch of our new enhanced charting facility, enabling our customers to view and better interrogate their data including functionality to export complete results in spreadsheet-compatible format. Recent and historic trends in data can be quickly observed, including an assessment of overall bias and effective reproducibility precision. In March we also launched our new multiple results facility, enabling the recording of data from a single test material for multiple analyses, methods or analysts providing a higher degree of scrutiny of your processes. These additional quality control features can be used to easily monitor system performance and verify the accuracy and precision of the many laboratory techniques being employed.
Sarah Hasnip, Head of Fapas at Fera, said:
“We have listened to customers and industry alike and as a result we are increasing the number of types of tests we offer and providing new tools that will enable our customers to chart and analyse their results to identify any trends. All of which we hope will support our customers to demonstrate their excellence in proficiency testing to their clients and accreditation bodies. Proficiency testing is a vital tool in mitigating business risks, such as; product failure, non-compliance, brand reputation and legal requirements. It gives you the confidence in your products, supply chain, analytical methods and people. ISO 17043 accredited with Fapas’ 30 year history of providing proficiency tests when you participate in one of our schemes you are assured you are working with a global leader in food quality assurance.”