The Requirements for Food Safety Testing Have Become More Stringent

Where once food safety might have simply meant ensuring that milk was obtained only from tuberculin-tested herds, that chickens and their eggs were free of Salmonella and that drinking water contained only acceptable numbers of Coliform bacilli, far more is now required from those who are responsible for producing our edibles. Some of the increased requirements for vigilance are due to previously insignificant environmental threats that have recently been made more significant, as a direct result of the steady increase in industrial activities across the globe.

As a consequence of excessive and irresponsible disposal of waste from large-scale industrial processes, marine pollution is now widespread. Lead has now been joined by mercury, nickel, arsenic and cadmium as featuring among the toxic heavy metals that are now commonly found in marine creatures, such as crustaceans and tuna.

Other food safety precautions have been rendered necessary with the scientist’s growing knowledge of the human allergic response and the many substances that can serve to trigger it, often with very unpleasant and even potentially fatal consequences. The declining availability, and the rising cost of fresh produce and meat has led to an increased dependency upon the manufacturers of processed foodstuffs and beverages. With processing, however, comes the added risk of contamination from both organic and inorganic sources, the requirement for permitted colorants, artificial flavourings, stabilisers and preservatives and, of course, the need to confirm the nutrient content of products.

Following the example of most western countries, South Africa has now introduced more stringent legal requirements for the labelling of edible products. In turn, these have spurred the industry to enhance its earlier food safety regimens with a series of new and more reliable procedures for testing and quality control. The combined effect of these various needs has been to drive the development of new technologies for use by those involved in this industry, which are aimed at making the detection, identification and assay of both the required and less desirable contents of their products, simpler, quicker and more accurate.

Given the increased production levels that are required to meet today’s demand, it is no longer feasible to perform analyses on single samples. In order to cope, the new generation of tests and equipment have been designed to handle multiple samples and, in some cases, to assay two or more components simultaneously. Given the direct impact of adequate food safety measures on the health of consumers, both the new test equipment and the methodologies upon which it relies, must be of the highest quality and proven reliability.

Meeting the needs of the food and beverage industry, as well as numerous other fields in South Africa, IEPSA is a supplier with more than 30 years of first-hand experience. Our role is to source laboratory reagents, test kits and instrumentation from leading international manufacturers and to provide expert, professional support to those who use them wherever there may be a need for high-precision analysis and proven practical solutions.

For food diagnostics, we offer a range of precision, portable analysers from the Italian manufacturer CDR. These include instruments for testing a wide range of parameters that are applicable to milk, vegetable oils, eggs, wine and more. We are the nation’s first choice for food safety testing solutions.

More Articles

Contact Us:

* Name & Surname:
* Cell / Tel no.:
* E-mail:
Your Message::
* Security Code: