While quality, consistency and food safety are the top concerns, allergen
testing and packaging claims are also evaluated by some processors
through laboratory testing.
What is done with batches between the time that they are manufactured
and tested can vary from facility to facility. Of those readers who report lab
testing as part of their process, 78.2 percent report holding batches until
clean lab tests are returned, while the remaining report shipping batches
before results are returned. For processors in the latter group, this protocol
may increase the risk of recall if contamination is found through testing
after the product has shipped. For some processors working with product
with limited shelf-life, the risk may be worth the additional product life
gained by shipping early.
When asked about the greatest difficulty faced in implementing effective
lab testing procedures, readers reported:
The time it takes to get test results— 25.0%
Changing regulations— 23.8%
Difficulty finding qualified/competent workers— 18.8%
Difficulty with buy-in among upper management or executives—
The accuracy of test results— 10.0%
Choosing what to test for— 6.3%
But for the most part, readers report a high level of satisfaction with the
effectiveness of laboratory testing procedures within their organizations.
As shown in the chart below, 93.8 percent of survey respondents report
a belief that their facility’s testing policies are “effective in ensuring food
Do you feel your facility’s testing poli-
cy is effective in ensuring food safety
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