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Living in Florida, I get the benefit of shopping at a highly ranked supermarket chain called Publix. Mrs. Publix, as we loving refer to the mythical grandmother figure that makes all of Publix’s private label items, is invited to many a meal at our house. Whether she is baking a pie to accompany my Thanksgiving turkey or providing some shredded pepper jack for my fajitas, Mrs. Publix’s name is synonymous with high quality. I have had many friends move from the southeastern US only to long for Mrs. Publix and miss her more than their real relatives.
“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives."-William A. Foster
For those of us who enjoy our jobs, there is nothing more rewarding than bragging on the efforts of our team members. Today it is my pleasure to share some recent accomplishments of our Chemistry and Quality Assurance teams.Since 1999 we have been an ISO 17025 accredited lab that specializes in food testing. Our roots have been strong in food microbiology and food chemistry for years but success cannot be achieved by resting on one’s laurels. To this end, we are constantly adding new tests to our ISO 17025 scope. Most recently we have added a variety of pesticides and antibiotics to our chemistry scope. We are now ISO 17025 for pesticides in food by GC/MS/MS and LC-MS/MS by the Quechers method and we have added nitrofurans, fluoroquinolone, chloramphenicol, melamine, malachite green, and crystal violet as well. The addition of the pesticides will strengthen our ability to provide analytical testing to Global GAP fruits and vegetable growers and processors and the addition of the antibiotics and melamine solidifies our position as one of the leading food testing labs specializing in chemical adulterants in foods.
To achieve this scope expansion, our chemists and quality assurance team members have worked tirelessly to perfect our methodologies and show proficiency in accuracy and precision in detection. Although these analyses are based on official methods, much work goes into perfecting each extraction and detection strategy for maximum efficiency. They also excelled in our recent audit by A2LA. I applaud the efforts of our chemists and QA folks in recognizing the importance of the jobs they do and the necessity to do their jobs in a timely manner. It is that attitude that drives ABC Research Laboratories to greater heights in food testing.
As Chief Scientific Officer of ABC Research Laboratories I get the privilege of talking science all day, every day. I am a technical resource to our clients and our inside staff which means I get to give FREE advice on a myriad of topics. It could be anything from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), to the impending Produce Rules, to nutritional labeling for restaurants, and anything in between. I love helping clients design better food safety systems and use food testing to their advantage to increase food safety and save money. Life is good. But life gets even better when you can touch the lives of students in your field.
From talks on Food Safety Modernization Act to water recycling and a myriad of pathogens, this year’s International Association for Food Protection meeting attempted to provide regulatory updates, scientific reviews of methods and epidemiological studies, and a little entertainment as well. Two out of three ain’t too shabby.With regulations still pending budgetary approval, the FDA was hard pressed to share anything new with the crowd on the Food Safety Modernization Act or the Produce Safety Rule. I even got up early one morning to catch a top FDA official’s talk on FSMA and when I realized that I gave a FSMA talk with more detail in it 3 months ago all I could do was shake my head. As a scientist we love to share our discoveries. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for them to not be able to share the pending regulations. (and you better believe Food Testing Experts will spread the gossip like wildfire when they come out!)
Recently we were approached by the daytime TV show The Doctors. This is a syndicated talk-show that airs daily in a number of countries across the globe; branded as America’s Medical Dream Team. And I believe it. They are good looking group of physicians. Garbed in well tailored scrubs and white coats, they will answer any question you may pose in the privacy of your own home, free of charge, from a L.A. soundstage.
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