The six new tests were set to help testing laboratories analyse their results, identify trends and demonstrate their competency to their customers, accreditation bodies and managers.
Fapas’ new proficiency test for campylobacter in chicken enumeration was developed in addition to its existing proficiency test, which assesses a laboratory’s ability to detect Campylobacter spp. There are also microbiology proficiency tests for Listeria monocytogenes in dry cured meat, ready meals and smoked fish.
The new proficiency test for E.coli O157 in cheese, meanwhile, followed recent contamination incidents with Camembert and reblochon cheese that together highlighted the need for additional resources to help prevent harm to consumers and costly product recalls, Fapas said.
It has also responded to customer demand by launching a test to evaluate laboratories’ testing abilities for the enumeration of E.coli in beef by the Most Probable Number method.
Fapas is the proficiency testing arm of research agency Fera Science. More than 200 laboratories participated in the tests last year.