Why should I get my food product tested?
The microbiology testing we offer can be used to determine if adequate hygiene measures are maintained during manufacturing as well as check the overall safety of the food. Testing is an important part of any quality control program.
What type of sample can I submit?
Our microbiology department is capable of analyzing environmental swabs, food and dairy products, waters, pharmaceuticals, raw meats, air plates, and more. For questions about specific situations and samples, please contact us.
How do I collect a swab?
We offer 2 different styles of swab testing.
Environmental Scrub Sampler- a larger sponge style swab used on environmental surfaces such as floors, drains, walls, and door handles.
Directions: Start by washing your hands and applying gloves. Label your swab. Rip open the perforated top, and using the two red tabs on each side, pull the bag open. To prevent contamination, do not touch the sponge directly. Using the outside of the bag, push the sponge up out of the bag until the blue handle can be aseptically removed. Firmly press the swab down onto the surface to be swabbed, and wipe in a zigzag motion in one direction over the entire selected sampling area. Turn the sponge over, change the sampling direction by 90°, and repeat in the same area. Sampling areas typically range from 4x4 inches to 12x12 inches. Return the sponge into the top of the sample bag, and twist the blue handle off without allowing any of the handle to touch the inside of the bag. Discard the handle and seal the bag shut.
Enviroswab- a smaller tube and stick style swab primarily used for surfaces that come into direct contact with food or the product in question.
Directions: Start by washing your hands and applying gloves. Label your swab. Remove the seal tab off the top of the swab cap. Try not to touch the swab to anything except the surface you are testing. Aseptically remove the swab and firmly press it against the surface to be swabbed. Sample in a zigzag motion in one direction over the entire selected sampling area. Turn the swab over, change the sampling direction by 90°, and repeat in the same area. Sampling areas typically range from 4x4 inches to 12x12 inches. Return the swab into its tube and seal it shut, ensuring the cap snaps onto the tube.
How should I package my sample?
If the product in question needs to be kept sterile or contaminant free, we offer special collection bags called whirlpacks that can be picked up at the lab or shipped out to the customer. Products should be sent to the lab in leak proof containers; we cannot test a sample that has leaked due to contamination concerns. Refrigerated samples should be kept in a cooler with ice packs to avoid spoilage. Please contact us before sending any samples.
Does my food product need a nutrition facts panel?
If you're selling your product across state lines or in retail outlets, then you likely do need a nutrition facts panel. If you're just getting started on a new product, Northeast Labs can help you put together a nutrition facts panel and help with any other nutritional questions you may have.