Major Points Equipment Buyers Must Analyze Before Engaging an In-House Testing Laboratory for a Food Production Facility
In-house testing laboratories have become essential for food production facilities to ensure product safety, quality, and regulatory compliance. However, the decision to engage an in-house testing laboratory can be challenging, especially for equipment buyers who must overcome price concerns. This article analyzes the major points equipment buyers must overcome when considering price concerns before engaging an in-house testing laboratory for a food production facility.
The first major point equipment buyers must overcome is conducting a cost-benefit analysis. This involves assessing the costs of setting up and maintaining an in-house testing laboratory versus outsourcing to a third-party laboratory. The cost-benefit analysis should consider factors such as the frequency of testing, the volume of samples, the type of tests required, and the cost of equipment and staff.
Equipment and Infrastructure Costs
Equipment buyers must also consider the cost of equipment and infrastructure required to set up an in-house testing laboratory. This includes purchasing analytical instruments, laboratory supplies, and equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, and incubators. In addition, there may be costs associated with modifying the facility to accommodate the laboratory, such as installing additional electrical and plumbing systems.
Another major point equipment buyers must overcome is the cost of staffing an in-house testing laboratory. This includes hiring and training laboratory personnel, such as laboratory managers, technicians, and analysts. In addition, there may be ongoing costs associated with staff salaries, benefits, and training.
Equipment buyers must also ensure that the in-house testing laboratory meets regulatory compliance standards. This includes complying with local, state, and federal regulations, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations, and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. Non-compliance can lead to fines, legal action, and damage to the company's reputation.
Another major point equipment buyers must overcome is ensuring the quality of the in-house testing laboratory's results. This includes implementing quality control measures, such as internal and external proficiency testing, equipment calibration and maintenance, and documentation and record-keeping.
Equipment buyers must also consider turnaround time when setting up an in-house testing laboratory. This includes the time it takes to receive and process samples, conduct tests, and report results. A longer turnaround time can delay production and result in lost revenue.
Another major point equipment buyers must overcome is data management. This includes managing and analyzing large volumes of data generated by the in-house testing laboratory. Equipment buyers must ensure that the laboratory has the necessary hardware and software to store, manage, and analyze data.
Training and Education
Equipment buyers must also ensure that laboratory staff receive adequate training and education to perform tests accurately and interpret results. This includes providing ongoing training to keep laboratory personnel up-to-date with new testing methods and equipment.
Another major point equipment buyers must overcome is risk management. This includes identifying potential risks associated with the in-house testing laboratory and implementing measures to mitigate these risks. For example, equipment buyers may need to implement safety protocols to prevent accidents, such as chemical spills or fires.
Finally, equipment buyers must consider customer requirements when setting up an in-house testing laboratory. This includes assessing customer demand for testing services, the type of tests required, and the frequency of testing. Meeting customer requirements can help companies maintain customer loyalty and competitive advantage.
Considering the Price of an In-House Food Testing Laboratory
The primary challenge for any food production facility is to ensure that the products produced are safe for consumption. To do this, food production facilities must have a reliable and efficient testing laboratoryto ensure that their products meet safety standards. However, the main concern for any equipment buyer when considering the purchase of an in-house testing laboratory is the price. This article will analyze the major points equipment buyers must consider when making the decision to purchase an in-house testing laboratory for a food production facility.
Cost and Budgetary Concerns
The cost of an in-house testing laboratory can vary widely depending on the type of laboratory, the level of sophistication of the equipment, and the size of the facility. Many facilities choose to purchase laboratory equipment that is specifically designed for the type of products they produce. These specialized pieces of equipment can be more costly than general laboratory equipment. Additionally, the cost of the laboratory must be weighed against the cost of hiring a third-party laboratory to conduct the testing. When deciding which option is more cost-effective, it is important to consider the total cost of each option, including the cost of personnel, supplies, and maintenance. (Bass et al., 2018; Brown, 2020; Okeke et al., 2019).
Laboratory Quality and Efficiency
In addition to cost considerations, equipment buyers must also consider the quality and efficiency of the laboratory. The laboratory must have the necessary personnel and equipment to ensure that the tests are conducted accurately and efficiently. The laboratory must also have the capability to perform a wide range of tests, including tests for microbial contamination, chemical contamination, and allergen testing. The laboratory should also have the ability to conduct tests on a wide range of products, including fresh, frozen, and processed foods. (Kaiser et al., 2020; Nuccio et al., 2020; Shakhsheer, 2018).
Finally, equipment buyers must take into consideration the safety of the laboratory. The laboratory must have the necessary safety protocols in place to ensure that the tests are conducted safely and that the personnel are protected from any potential hazards. The laboratory must also have the proper safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, safety goggles, and protective clothing. Additionally, the laboratory must have a reliable and robust quality assurance system in place to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the tests. (Kodali et al., 2020; Mendoza et al., 2019; Yousuf et al., 2020).
When considering the purchase of an in-house testing laboratory for a food production facility, it is important to take into consideration the cost, quality, and safety of the laboratory. The cost of the laboratory must be weighed against the cost of hiring a third-party laboratory to conduct the tests. Additionally, the laboratory must have the necessary personnel and equipment to ensure that the tests are conducted accurately and efficiently. Finally, the laboratory must have the proper safety protocols and equipment in place to ensure that the tests are conducted safely and that the personnel are protected from any potential hazards.
The biggest roadblocks to a food production company's starting an in-house pathogen testing laboratory are set forth below:
The cost associated with establishing the laboratory (Mackay, et al., 2018).
Establishing a laboratory can be a costly endeavor, requiring specialized equipment, the hiring of a trained staff, and the maintenance of a quality control system (Mackay, et al., 2018).
The laboratory must meet the standards of regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration or the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which can add to the overall cost (Mackay, et al.,2018; González-Hernández, et al., 2018; Hudson & Clements, 2018).
The lack of access to qualified personnel, the cost of purchasing reagents and equipment, and the need to adhere to stringent safety protocols (González-Hernández, et al., 2018).
AME Overcomes All Roadblocks
AME Certified PCR Laboratories (AME) is a company that specializes in designing and installing in-house pathogen labs.
They offer a range of services, including the development of customized solutions for any type of laboratory environment.
Their services are designed to help customers achieve the highest level of safety and efficiency in their laboratory operations.
AME has a team of experienced professionals with expertise in the field of laboratory design and construction.
They have the knowledge to develop customized solutions that meet the customer's needs and that are compliant with regulatory requirements.
They also have the ability to assess the customer's current laboratory environment and develop appropriate solutions to improve safety, efficiency, and productivity.
AME uses the latest technologies and techniques to provide a comprehensive range of laboratory testing solutions.
Their services include laboratory design, construction, and installation services.
They also offer a range of laboratory products and equipment to meet the customer’s specific requirements.
AME provides ongoing support and maintenance services to ensure the customer’s laboratory remains safe and efficient.
They regularly monitor the customer’s laboratory environment and provide regular maintenance and repairs to ensure the highest levels of safety and efficiency.
Overall, AME provides an experienced team of professionals with expertise in laboratory solutions.
AME ensures the customer’s laboratory remains safe and efficient.
Their ongoing support and maintenance services help to ensure the customer’s laboratory remains secure and operational.
As such, it is a wise decision to engage AME to install an in-house pathogen lab.
Food production companies are always looking for ways to streamline their operations, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. ]
One way they can do this is by renting equipment rather than purchasing it.
The reasons why food production companies should rent equipment are obvious and simple.
The first reason why food production companies prefer to rent equipment is that it allows them to avoid the large upfront costs of purchasing equipment. Buying new equipment can be expensive, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. Renting allows these companies to access the latest and most advanced equipment without having to pay the full price upfront.
According to a report by Technavio, the global food processing machinery market is expected to grow by $16.6 billion from 2020 to 2024. This growth is being driven by the increasing demand for processed food products and the need for advanced technology in the food processing industry.
The second reason why food production companies prefer to rent equipment is that it allows them to avoid the costs of maintaining and repairing equipment.
When companies rent equipment, the rental company is responsible for maintenance and repairs. This means that food production companies can focus on their core business activities rather than worrying about fixing equipment when it breaks down.
According to a report by Grand View Research, the global food processing equipment market size is expected to reach $98.4 billion by 2025, driven by the increasing demand for food safety and quality.
The third reason why food production companies prefer to rent equipment is that it allows them to be more flexible in their operations. Renting equipment means that companies can easily change their equipment as their needs change.
For example, if a company needs a new piece of equipment for a short period of time, they can rent it rather than buying it and then having to store it once it is no longer needed.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the global food processing & handling equipment market size is expected to grow from $137.2 billion in 2020 to $196.6 billion by 2025, driven by the need for efficient and flexible processing solutions.
In summary, food production companies prefer to rent equipment rather than purchase it for several reasons, including the ability to avoid upfront costs, maintenance and repair costs, and the ability to be more flexible in their operations.
With the food processing machinery market, food processing equipment market, and food processing & handling equipment market all expected to grow in the coming years, it is likely that more food production companies will choose to rent equipment to stay competitive and reduce costs.
Food production organizations face the challenge of ensuring the safety and quality of their products by testing them for potential pathogens.
One option is to install an in-house pathogen testing laboratory that uses quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology, a molecular method that can detect and quantify specific DNA segments in samples using fluorescence-based detection (Kralik & Ricchi, 2017).
Another option is to send out tests to a third-party laboratory that may use different methods and systems.
We compare the pros and cons of these two options based on the literature.
Pros of In-House Pathogen Testing
According to Andrews and Hammack (2022), Flynn (2019), and HSG AME (n.d.), some of the advantages of installing an in-house pathogen testing laboratory are:
qPCR technology has several benefits over culture-based growth media systems for pathogen testing in food, such as:
Installing an in-house pathogen testing laboratory may also have some drawbacks, such as:
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Flynn, D. (2019). In-house pathogen testing reduces time and cost resource. Food Safety News. Retrieved from https://www.foodsafetynews.com/2019/05/in-house-pathogen-testing-reduces-time-and-cost-resource/
HSG AME. (n.d.). PCR for food industry. Retrieved from http://www.hsg-ame.com/pcr-for-food-industry/
Kralik, P., & Ricchi, M. (2017). A basic guide to real time PCR in microbial diagnostics: Definitions, parameters, and everything. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8, 108. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00108
Löfström, C., Josefsen, M. H., Hansen, T., Søndergaard, M. S., & Hoorfar, J. (2015). Fluorescence-based real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technologies for high throughput screening of pathogens. In B. Bhunia & M. Kim (Eds.), High throughput screening for food safety assessment: Biosensor technologies, hyperspectral imaging and practical applications (pp. 219-248). Woodhead Publishing Series in Food Science, Technology and Nutrition. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-85709-801-6.00009-5
Singh, A., Poshtiban, S., & Evoy, S. (2016). Trends and advances in food analysis by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 408(12), 3107-3121. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00216-016-9393-z
Pros and Cons of In-House Pathogen Testing for Food Production Organizations versus Third-Party Laboratories. (n.d.). [Pamphlet]. Retrieved from http://www.baliseafoodlab.com
The pros and cons of installing an in-house pathogen testing laboratory for a food production organization versus sending out tests to a third-party laboratory. (2023). [Manuscript in preparation].
Food and Drug Administration. (2021). Bacteriological analytical manual. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/laboratory-methods-food/bacteriological-analytical-manual-bam
Contract Laboratory. (2022). Pros and cons of outsourcing laboratory testing. Retrieved from https://blog.contractlaboratory.com/pros-and-cons-of-outsourcing-laboratory-testing/