Consumers of today are more woke, especially when it comes to what they consume. This is why we have seen a huge demand for high-quality foods. For this, there has been an increase in the number of food testing laboratories as well.
Food testing is crucial as it helps test the quality of a product, checks its quality control, as well as ensures that food manufacturers meet the stipulated laws and standards.
However, not all labs are the same. So it is crucial to research more about a food lab before you go ahead and choose your preferred one. In this article, we give you some of the factors that you need to pay attention to when choosing a food testing lab. By paying attention to these factors, you will surely end up with the right food testing lab that you are guaranteed will give you accurate results of your heavy metal testing. So, without wasting more time, let’s delve into them.
When looking for a food testing lab, one of the most important things you need to pay attention to is accreditation. Is the food testing lab you are considering accredited? A legit food testing lab must be accredited.
ISO accreditation is one of the ways businesses provide assurance to other businesses that they are indeed operating in compliance with a globally recognized standard, are reliable, and competent. However, it is worth mentioning that accreditation doesn’t guarantee that all entities accredited under the same standard are equal. Before you engage with the food testing lab of your choice, you need to check their website to see if they have an ISO accreditation. This will demonstrate that they are operating in accordance with globally recognized standards. Food testing labs should be accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2017, which is an update from ISO/IEC 17025:2005. This specifies the requirements for the competence to perform tests and calibrations such as sampling.
- Understand your needs
It is a good idea to note down all the services you need before you go ahead and contact a food testing lab. Is it sensory testing, analytical chemistry testing, microbiology testing, or nutrition analysis? Understanding the services you need in advance can help you choose the right food testing lab that offers that specific service you are seeking. Remember that not all food testing labs offer all of these services. For instance, some may offer heavy metal testing while others do not.
- Know the permitted limits and detection
Before you request any kind of testing, you should know the allowed limits for your verification activity. For example, you should be aware of the specific product that you want to be tested. You can inquire that from the food testing lab you intend to use.
- Turn-around time
Another factor that you need to pay attention to when selecting a food testing lab is the lab’s turn-around time. The time it will take to test your sample is an essential consideration in your food testing. That’s why you need to confirm from the lab how long the process will take. You should also be aware of the best time or day to send your samples.
That’s because the lab of your choice may not be working past certain hours or on weekends, meaning that if you send samples on a Friday afternoon for analysis it will be until Monday that they will start the testing.
Another key thing you need to keep in mind when choosing a food testing lab is cost. Different food testing labs generally charge differently for their services. So you need to understand all the costs that are associated with testing.
You can achieve that by asking the food testing lab of your choice how much they charge for their services. You will also need to know the number of swabs you plan on testing for each pathogen.
Get a quote from at least three different food testing labs, and then pick the one that suits your budget. But it is not advisable to go for a food testing lab that has extremely low charges. This may mean that they are offering low-quality services. Instead, pay attention to other factors, such as experience and the reputation of the food testing lab.