The food industry today is surrounded by an increasing amount of highly publicized food safety concerns. The role of food testing laboratories, though often behind the scenes, has become an integral component of the daily checks and balances of our food production system. With the release of the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) in 2011, new requirements directly affecting food manufacturers and food testing laboratories may emerge. While many of the particulars still remain to be ironed out, the act mentions food laboratories 57 times and laboratory tests 29 times, and many anticipate forthcoming regulation.
Considering the sizable risks and widespread impact of food safety issues, it is a bit surprising that FSMA is the first large-scale reform of food safety laws since 1938. Without a doubt, agriculture, manufacturing, distribution, and food testing have changed drastically in that 70 year span.
Recently, I came across two thought provoking articles on food testing laboratories and how the FSMA may affect them. Because Teledyne Tekmar’s instruments are employed in both internal and third-party food labs, we continually monitor the horizon of food safety regulation, and anticipate that our instruments will be called upon to fulfill the requirements of the FSMA. See how our instruments are currently addressing regulatory compliance in the Food and Beverage Industry by browsing our Application Notes.
FSMA and Food Industry Demands
This article details factors affecting food laboratories today, including food industry demands and the FSMA. Additionally, it contains some interesting statistics on Manufacturer’s laboratory preferences. Every wonder how many manufacturers conduct in-house testing versus those that use outside labs? Answer: 28.9% use in-house testing only. 24.1% send their samples to outside labs. Refer to the article to read about it in detail: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/10/food-labs-integral-to-changing-world-of-food-safety/
FSMA and Accreditation
This article discusses food testing laboratories and accreditation. Again, the game changer is the FSMA which may ultimately require food laboratories to possess accreditation. Know what percent of food laboratories in the U.S. possess accreditation according to international standards? Answer: It is estimated that less than 5% of the food testing laboratories in the U.S. possess some form of accreditation. Refer to the article to read about it in detail: http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/10/food-testing-accreditation-a-growing-trend-among-food-labs/
For the moment, discussion of the FSMA is full of indefinites. As for the future, there are most certainly changes that will be implemented. Subscribe to our blog and learn with us, as we monitor and respond to changes resulting from the FSMA and numerous other topics relevant to Food and Beverage analysis today.