Tag Archives: QA/QC

Knowledge at Your Fingertips

Resources made available with Nelson-Jameson’s Learning Center! This educational learning library was created to encourage our customers to seek out information, when applicable, to aid them in making informed purchasing decisions within the food, dairy, and beverage industries. By providing this free resource for anyone to use, our goal is to have you feel comfortable and confident in the products you purchase.

An intriguing aspect of our Learning Center is that the information we are providing is supplied to us by manufacturers, and industry associations. It is our goal to relay to you the most up-to-date information for your convenience. The information within this resource falls into several categories: Laboratory & QA/QC, Packaging & IngredientsProcess & Flow ControlSafety, and Sanitation & Maintenance. Within each of these 5 areas, there is a range of subtopics that we determined were important for our customers to expand their knowledge on. Here is a brief overview of each of these sections:

Laboratory & QA/QC: We offer food safety products and solutions that help the food and beverage industries protect the quality of their products by utilizing proven, methods-based laboratory procedures. Learn more about Hydrating 3M™ Petrifilm Plates, pH Electrode Selection Guide, pH Testing Tips, and Nelson-Jameson pH Buffers, and more.
Packaging & Ingredients: Food safety begins with quality ingredients and packaging. Learn more information about our wide line of food and dairy ingredients, Choosing Cheese Packaging, Selecting Cultures & Coagulants for Taste & Texture, and Packaging Films.
Process & Flow Control: Keep food and beverage production running smoothly. Learn more from these resources designed to help meet your unique food, dairy, and beverage needs, such as Hose Maintenance Tips, Gaskets, Pump Maintenance, and Filtration Ratings.
Safety: In the food, dairy, and beverage industries, it is important to protect employees from injury and food product from possible contamination. To protect your assets, learn more about Noise Reduction Ratings, Protective Clothing Materials, Footwear Sizing, and peruse our Glove Selection Guide.
Sanitation & Maintenance: Keep your plant clean and safe with quality sanitation and janitorial products. Learn more about Broom Bristle Options, Insect & Pest Control, and Disinfectant Mats™.

At Nelson-Jameson, we strive to make our customers’ lives easier by providing products, solutions, and technical expertise when needed. Whether it’s figuring out how to clean a tank properly or learning about broom bristle options, Nelson-Jameson is your one stop shop—Click here to view our Learning Center and learn more about our areas of expertise!

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Labeling Labs: The ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation Process

In the food industry and in food safety, accuracy is key. To be able to sample, test, and conduct other lab-related operations on-site or via a third-party lab, is no longer the territory of just large operations. Businesses like small cheese makers, craft breweries, and countless other kinds of small and medium size operations depend on labs for quality control and quality assurance purposes.

Due to this demand for accuracy in testing by regulators, consumers, etc., some businesses have found themselves somewhat jumping into the deep end of laboratory science. A recent article in Food Quality highlighted ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation and indicated to labs that becoming accredited was the “first and most important step in setting your laboratory apart from some of your competition.”

More than an impressive, George Lucas-like combination of letters and numbers, ISO/IEC 17025 is an accreditation process food industry interests may want to know more a bit about. The process was originally developed by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. It essentially is a process in which a lab is certified as being “competent to carry out specific tasks” with valid and accurate systems. In industries that demand accurate testing, like the medical field and the food industry, accreditation might be an attractive feature for companies looking to work with a third-party lab. The accrediting process is carried out by several organizations: some for-profit, and others being non-profit.

Becoming accredited is often problematic for labs in terms of cost. Fee structures vary depending on the accrediting body and the accreditations sought. Regardless, labs have to foot the bill for many costs such as the following: application fees, annual fees, report fees, assessments, and travel expenses for the assessors. These costs, however, can mean increased business for the labs, as the accreditation certification may pull in more businesses.

As food industry interests contend with greater regulations, international regulations, and federal regulations, there are some difficult choices to be made. Figuring out how something like accreditation might fit in with your company’s QA/QC may prove to be difficult due to the cost of doing business with an accredited lab, but the investment may also be one that will pay off in the long run, with a greater assurance of testing accuracy/reporting. The issue is further complicated when choosing a lab, in that there also is the possibility that some labs may be claiming false accreditation.

Hence, for operations large, small and everywhere in between, some homework needs to be done on how best to choose a lab and how to work closely with a lab to ensure QA/QC. How much does accreditation mean, how much will it cost you to work/not work with such a lab, and what level of QA/QC is possible, are all discussions labs and food industry operations are having. In the era of the Food Safety Modernization Act, some homework can go a long way in establishing a good relationship with a lab, or in establishing standards for in-house lab operations.

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