The Importance of Food Safety Testing and Choosing the Ideal Testing Facility
Although this may be the final process in the food manufacturing chain, food safety testing is a crucial step you don’t want to take lightly. That is because it determines the safety of the food you sell to your customers.
Food safety testing is vitally essential to ensure that any food is free of chemical, biological, and physical hazards. Some of the most common hazardous food contaminants could include preservatives, additives, salmonella, e-coli, pesticides, metals, cleaning agents, and more.
In this post, we discuss the importance of food safety. And how to choose the ideal testing facility for your needs.
But first, what is food safety testing?
Food safety testing varies from facility to facility. Some do a quality test, others for varying minerals, chemicals, and other hazardous food contaminants as mentioned above.
Food safety testing scientifically analyzes food and its contents. It gets done to offer information regarding various food characteristics. That could include its composition, structure, and physicochemical properties.
The testing preserves the quality of food sent to the consumer and ensures the eradication of contamination from potentially hazardous compounds, viruses, bacteria’s and compounds that could make its consumers sick.
Benefits of food safety testing
- Food quality control
Food quality control is done before, during, and after the food is manufactured. Here, the food is analyzed, including the ingredients of the finished product.
- Test the quality of food
Another importance of food safety is that it gets done to verify claims made by a product’s manufacturer. That could be on issues such as the ingredients used.
- Food grading and inspection
Food inspection and grading get done frequently to ensure that food manufacturers meet the laid out laws, standards, and regulations.
Food safety testing helps in the analysis of food so that there’s verification of claims made.
- It protects the manufacturer from smears and rumors.
You may have at one point spotted products labeled as unhealthy in the market by competitors of similar products. With food safety testing, such negativity and rumors can get sorted out.
- It helps manufacturers improve food quality.
Since manufacturers know the necessity of food safety testing, they have no choice but to provide high-quality food. They go over and above to ensure that the food is also affordable and healthy. That requires analyzing the food already in the market.
How to do food safety testing
Food safety testing can get done using several methods. All these are highly advanced, meaning that results are mostly accurate. You can trust that the nutritional value information and safety of the food are guaranteed.
Some of the most common ways of food safety testing include:
- Chemistry testing
Chemistry testing is a crucial part of food safety testing since it tests various minerals, heavy metals, allergens, minerals, additives, and contaminants.
Even though some foods have some allowable amounts of various minerals and compounds, limitations vary depending on the food’s intended use.
For instance, if a product gets labeled as allergen-free, it needs to get tested to ensure it has no allergens. The same applies to metals in food since there are consumable metals such as iron. However, the presence of heavy metals such as mercury can get monitored carefully.
Chemistry safety testing also searches for properties that may speed up incidences of food going rancid or spoiling. That ensures that the food products sold to consumers are of high quality.
- Microbiology testing
Microbiology testing tests for pathogens. And living organisms that could potentially harm customers. These tests check for the overall quality of food sold to customers and the market. And pathogens that could make the consumers ill.
Testing for spoilage and indicators is essential to ensure that only quality and safe food goes into the market.
Some of the services a microbiology testing lab can engage in include:
- Environmental monitoring assessment
- Hormone testing
- Foreign material identification
- Spoilage investigation
- Bacterial monitoring assessment
Choosing the ideal food safety testing laboratory for your needs
- Check their certifications
When choosing a food safety testing laboratory, you need to consider one with the relevant certifications. When the lab is ISO accredited, it means that they are operating according to the recognized standards. And are reliable and competent.
Also, remember to ask a prospective laboratory for their accreditation to the set standards. By checking the ISO website, you can search for a specific’s lab scope, accreditation status, and when it expires.
- Variety of services
When choosing a food safety testing laboratory, you want to consider one that offers a vast array of food testing services to shippers and food manufacturers. Since getting your products out to consumers on time is essential for your business, you need to consider a laboratory that offers a wide range of food safety testing options. That ensures your brand stands out from competitors.
You also want to work with a reliable laboratory that offers services that cover the nutraceutical industry, consumer products, and food safety.
That way, you get many services under one roof.
- Set a budget
Like any other capital or operational expense, you need to set aside enough money for food safety testing.
To arrive at the best services, you need to ask for estimates from some of the best laboratories. That way, you get a rough idea of how much you need to pay for these services.
With this at the back of your mind, you get to assess the laboratory services you can afford. And that which offers the ideal safety testing for your product.
When choosing a food safety testing laboratory, you want to check their reviews. You can get this information from their website, social media platforms, or Google.
The best one has stellar reviews and the best comments from satisfied clients. You might want to steer away from laboratories with negative publicity. That should serve as a red flag.
You may also consider recommendations from trusted sources. With referrals, you get to save on time and money.
- Outstanding customer service
Finally, you want to consider a food safety testing laboratory that offers outstanding customer service. Their operations should run seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. And have working contacts to address any customer issues.
The lab should also have technical advisors who will guide you and help you choose the best testing for your food product.