I’d like to share a bit more insight into a cause, a passion actually that is near and dear to my heart. Not only does it fit what and who we stand for a company, it represents my passion for food safety as an individual.
Reliable and accurate test result should be the cornerstone for every food laboratory and while testing standards exist for laboratories to follow, there is unfortunately no mandate or assurance that they do. To remedy this concern, a coalition of organizations devoted to the safety of the nation’s food supply and the quality of food laboratory testing was established. This coalition, called the Food Laboratory Alliance, represents hundreds of food laboratories, hundreds of thousands of food testing products and services, and millions of consumers. Cherney Microbiological Services, Ltd. is a proud member of this Alliance.
The Food Laboratory Alliance is a strong advocate for the quality of food laboratory testing. It has worked with Congress (see our picture below) and the Administration to promote model standards for food laboratories to follow. The Alliance also provides information and education to the public on the importance of accurate test results for the food industry.
“Without these testing standards, we don’t know if all food laboratories are accurately detecting pathogens that cause foodborne illnesses… This is a problem with an easy solution.” This is one of the quotes that has appeared in our efforts to help educate the public locally through our hometown paper - The Green Bay Press Gazette.
One solution is for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement provisions in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that call for laboratory accreditation and model laboratory standards. Laboratory and consumer leaders in the Alliance have been urging action on this front. While there has been some progress in moving toward improved oversight of food laboratories, more needs to be accomplished.
The Food Laboratory Alliance remains vigilant in its pursuit of strong standards. The food industry and consumers, both of which rely on accurate food testing results, should welcome these efforts.
So what can you do? As a consumer – be vigilant on the food that you purchase and be aware of food safety recalls. As a manufacturer – work with accredited testing laboratories. If you have any comments or questions, please reach out to Robin or myself and we would be happy to address them. Until then, we will continue to work diligently in creating standards to help ensure the safety of today’s food supply through high quality food testing laboratories.