Food testing is the most basic element of quality assurance in the production of food products. The producer should ensure the safety of food intended for consumption throughout the entire period of its presence on the market, i.e. from the moment of its production to the moment of its purchase by the consumer, without exposing the consumer to the dangers resulting from the deterioration of the microbiological and physicochemical quality of the product during its shelf-life. Deterioration of the quality of the product may occur as a result of physical, chemical or microbiological factors. The durability and stability of the product over time is influenced by many elements, the most important of which are proper preparation (preservation) of the product, storage and transport conditions.
The worst effect of a spoiled food product is its contamination by pathogenic bacteria. Consumption of such a product can result in illnesses and even fatality. The most dangerous bacteria found in food are: Listeria monocytogenes, Bacillus cereus, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and also the commonly found Escherichia coli.
Nowadays, food production is regulated by many legal regulations which impose many obligations on the producer. One of them is production quality control within the system of hazard analysis and critical control points. A manufactured lot of food may be released on the market only after obtaining a positive test result. However, a positive test result just after the production of a food product does not guarantee that it will be preserved over time. The appropriate maintenance method should be selected already at the stage of “creating” a new product. In order to confirm that the food item does not spoil during the manufacturer’s declared shelf life, storage tests are carried out. The resistance of the product to variable storage and transport conditions is confirmed in stress tests. During these tests, the finished product is subjected to abrupt changes in temperature and/or humidity, prolonged exposure to high temperatures and mechanical tests to simulate the product’s behaviour during transport. Food testing can therefore be divided into physical, chemical and microbiological tests. The scope of tests and the requirements for food are described in the relevant EU and national legal regulations.
Most often, these regulations also define the test methods that should be used for food analysis. The microbiological requirements to be met by food are described, for example, in the Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1441/2007 of 5 December 2007 on 5 on microbiological criteria for foodstuff.
Ekolabos Laboratory offers a wide range of food testing. Our offer is directed both to large manufacturers and mass catering facilities. We welcome you to contact our Customer Service Office to learn more about our offer.