Intertek has opened a UKAS accredited food laboratory in Derbyshire, UK which will focus on providing results in quick turnaround times for microbiological testing requirements.
The testing, auditing and certification organisation said it will manage the increase in demand for its services and provide microbiology testing services.
The firm has a laboratory in Stoke and said the newly-opened site would allow them to connect better with their customers – offering cost effective and faster turnaround times.
Intertek is planning to expand its team with a range of analytical and administrative roles as the 6500ft² lab grows.
Food testing market
Natalie Smith, global marketing manager, Food Services at Intertek, told FoodQualityNews.com that the previous year had been eventful in food testing.
“Good fundamental steps by the government and food agencies are continuing to be put in place to minimise the risk, and it was a natural progression for us to expand our support to UK customers in this region,” she said.
“Food businesses act on new changes in legislation, improvements in health and to ensure best practice with the growth of the food supply chain.
“Our clients want to ensure their products are safe and the shelf life is accurate. Therefore we have seen an increase in testing for allergens, labelling and microbes such as Salmonella, Listeria and Campylobacter.
“[It is] to give the consumer as much information as possible and make it far easier for them.”
The site officially opened last month after expansion plans were tabled in the latter half of 2013.
The ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation includes chemical analysis in food, microbiological analysis in food, dairy products and environmental swabs and meat speciation.
Methods include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), ion chromatography, flame photometry and membrane filtration.
It is predominantly for UK customers but will share best practice with other sites, said Smith.
“In Bremen, Germany, we have a centre of excellence that specialises in honey testing which can be considered a niche market, if we had a requirement for this expert service we would pass to the appropriate lab and vice-versa.
“Our clients are concerned about food safety and our job is to support them and ensure they get the service and support they need with accurate and quick results…to help them provide safe food to the consumer.”