Whitepaper: Fapas – Putting the ‘Quality’ into External Quality Control
Quality control (QC) in food testing laboratories is often thought of as an essential burden. A lot of time and effort (and money) is put into establishing QC mechanisms, especially for accreditation purposes. In fact quality control should be built into your everyday routine and have minimal adverse impact on the business, it is essential to building a successful business that delivers products that meet or exceed customers’ expectations.
It also forms the basis of an efficient business that minimises waste and operates at high levels of productivity. So careful consideration should be given to the adverse effect on the business of neglecting QC. Product recalls impact both financially and reputationally and in many cases could be avoided by using effective QC tools. For laboratories, one of those QC tools should be an external reference, that is one that the laboratory has no direct control over. Such tools include proficiency testing (PT) and use of reference materials (RM) from an external supplier. In this paper we look to evaluate these external tools and how they can be applied in routine laboratory QC procedures. We also look at how their results should be interpreted and the benefits to the food testing sector.
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