Evaluating your organization’s objectives and goals is one of the most important criteria in deciding whether to undertake some or all of the testing in-house or outsource this activity. In-house testing necessitates not just accounting for the direct and indirect (overhead) expenses of running a laboratory (e.g., personnel and capital resources). Still, it also necessitates accounting for the risk of an incorrect test result. Decisions about the required complexity of the procedures, the availability of employees with adequate expertise, and the projected testing volume must all be decided based on the product being created. You can Go Now and know more about lab testing services.
Furthermore, the relative risk category of the created food product influences the sorts of testing and whether it should be done internally. Products that have a higher risk of microbiological contamination or chemical adulteration will need to undergo more safety and quality testing than those lower on the scale. Many manufacturers solve the latter by outsourcing any product with an initial adverse finding (e.g., a presumed positive test result) to a third-party laboratory. At the same time, the former is addressed by maintaining a minimal screening testing capability. This method exhibits due diligence while also reducing costs to a minimum.
Know about selecting a third-party laboratory
Suppose the manufacturing company decides to outsource some or all of its product testing due to the difficulties described previously. How does it determine which independent, third-party testing laboratory to use?
- Location and distance from the production activity, analytical turnaround time, cost of the specific test, and results dependability are all factors to consider.
- Although the cost of a test should be considered when making a decision, it should never take precedence over other considerations.
- The logistics of location and distance from the industrial site are important considerations when choosing a testing laboratory. While it may still be appropriate for confirmatory testing, if the testing facility is not close enough or if it lacks courier service capabilities, the laboratory’s transportation efficiency is likely to make it unsuitable for routine testing, independent of the other criteria involved.
- Another important component in the decision tree is analytical turnaround time, especially in the food industry, where many goods are perishable. It is of no use to the food producer if the time it takes to obtain the results differs from the permissible product hold period. As a result, this should be a primary consideration while making a decision.
- You can conduct a supplier quality audit. This would include the plant employees reviewing the laboratory’s method performance, results in verification, records management, corrective action processes, and other areas deemed significant by the laboratory. The producer typically prioritizes these inspections based on the supplier’s and product’s importance and criticality, with lower-criticality suppliers and products being reviewed instead through a self-audit or high-level review. On the downside, this activity necessitates a large investment of devoted resources and some level of professional training.
It is difficult for any processing company to choose the optimum method for acquiring quality and safety testing data on its goods because of so many options and factors. There are numerous factors to examine, each of which may match the producer’s needs to varying degrees and may alter as circumstances dictate. However, because the choice has such a big impact on the food product’s safety and suitability for human consumption, all factors must be examined, as the final testing decisions can have far-reaching consequences.