4 Ways On-Site Pathogen Testing Can Significantly Enhance Your Plant’s Food Safety Plan
Food safety practitioners have been forced to wait until they can react to results from environmental testing programs (EMPs) for years. The current process of testing for pathogens and bacteria in your food manufacturing plant can often take up to 48 – 72 hours under good conditions. You collect samples, send them to the lab and wait for the results. If your lab doesn’t have a robust reporting workflow, you might wait longer even than it takes to run the testing! So while you’re waiting for those results, your company’s risk exposure grows and grows, a very clear and present danger of possibly ruining your brand. It’s no secret that hundreds of companies have been under scrutiny in recent years due to very public recalls. Is this reactionary approach still working for you? Did it ever? And is your plant really as clean as it looks? More often than not, if you are not getting positive results, you aren’t looking hard enough!
Good news though! There are ways to get results faster, especially on the greatest risks to your production and the consump: pathogens! With new technology that allows for on-site pathogen detection, you are finally able to be proactive, control your risk and protect your brand!
Getting pathogen results faster enhances your plant’s food safety plan in the following ways:
It’s frustrating when you can’t test your own samples. Sending them out for testing exposes you to the risk of dangerous pathogen contamination spreading in your facility while you wait. On top of that, samples can get lost or delayed, thus rendering them un-testable and any results (for which you still might unknowingly pay) invalid. You’ll waste time, money and resources when you’re not in control of your own sample testing.
With on-site pathogen testing, you’re always in control -- from the creation of the sample list to the sample collection, and all the way through the process of generating results.
This means you can take the samples on your schedule and get results when you need them.
Faster Testing Results
When sending out your samples to an outside lab, you’re also extending the amount of time it takes to receive results. Most often, it can take 48 – 72 hours to receive a test result. How much product is being manufactured in this time, placing your company and brand at risk? With on-site pathogen testing, in-shift results are a reality.
Having a faster turnaround time for sample testing is crucial in eliminating positive pathogen detection results. You don’t have to wait for other samples to be completed before you get your results, you are also the first to know if you have positive results.
This gives you more time to react to that result which leads to a stronger implementation of your food safety plan. Faster results leads to more relevant data.
On-site pathogen testing allows you to have immediate data, which you can take immediate action on. You can chose to move your product to another area or begin sanitation of a presumed positive while in shift. Sending samples to a lab is not only time consuming but costly as well.
A significant cost to plants is the loss of product due to lagging information indicators. If you’re able to presume a positive or detect a positive result while in-shift, you can redirect your product and reduce its loss, saving cost.
Another positive of testing directly at the plant is setting your company and brand apart from the others. Your own employees learn the technical skills to be able to perform these tests.
Quality Technicians are given the opportunity to learn and excel at something new, making the position at your company more attractive. Leverage this to attract stronger candidates and retain them longer by providing more interesting work to be done.
You also allow your brand to become more appealing to customers. Imagine how valuable it would be for customers to see real-time data and dashboards regarding your food safety management.
It’s time to make this a reality at your food plant. Gain control over your plant’s sample testing, eliminate the lag time between results, and keep production going at an optimal and safe pace.
Learn more about on-site pathogen detection here. Have questions on more ways this process can benefit your business? Let us know in the comments below!