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Retaining analytical support in-house or using a contract laboratory is a corporate decision that should not be based on cost alone. This session will address factors that food companies need to consider before making decisions on outsourcing analytical food testing or retaining an in-house laboratory and the pros and cons of each approach.


The focus will be on the who, what, when, where, why and how of analytical microbiological services for the food industry. There are many issues beyond simply cost of testing to consider when trying deciding if analytical support services should be retained in-house or sub-contracted out. Accreditation Status and FSMA requirements, Scope of Accreditation, Availability of technical skills, Technology, Communication and facility suitability are all elements that will influence the final decision. Each corporate entity should evaluate its own needs based on these considerations before committing to “in-house” or “out-house” laboratory services.  But do not assume that “in-house or out-house” are mutually exclusive.


  • Who is doing what
  • Purpose of testing
  • Organisms of concern and risk factors
  • Analytical methods
  • Time constraints
  • Laboratory capabilities and facilities
  • Laboratory accreditation and FSMA
  • Analyst competency
  • Cost considerations
     


  • Quality Assurance Managers
  • Food Laboratory Technicians
  • Laboratory Managers
  • Technical Service Directors
  • Executive Management Teams
  • Food Plant Managers
  • HACCP Personnel
  • Sanitation Personnel
  • Regulatory Compliance Officers
  • Legal Counsel
  • Food Company owners
     


Michael Brodsky has been an Environmental Microbiologist for more than 41 years. He is a Past President of the Ontario Food Protection Association and AOAC International. He serves as Chair for the AOAC Expert Review Committee for Microbiology, as a scientific reviewer in Microbiology for the AOAC OMA and the AOAC Research Institute, as a reviewer for Standard Method for the Examination of Water and as a chapter editor on QA for the Compendium of Methods in Microbiology. He is also a lead auditor/assessor in microbiology for the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) and is a member of the Board of Directors.

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