Thanksgiving is a special holiday where friends and family gather to enjoy one another’s company and all the things we’re grateful for, including the food on the table.
You may think the turkey taste test is the most important Thanksgiving analysis, but rest assured, the safety of your food has been considered throughout its journey to your table. Let’s take your turkey for example;
Before it ever reaches the supermarket, every turkey is inspected by the USDA or an equivalent state system. Inspectors check the turkey inside and out, including its internal organs, looking for any sign of sickness or disease. Some birds are also tested by Food Safety and Inspection Service for any antibiotic residue. There are certain standards it must meet before it can be determined safe to eat.
As a public service organization, A2LA takes pride in knowing our place at your table.
At this time of year, we are easily reminded of the importance of accreditation when it comes to food safety. The CDC estimates that foodborne illnesses affect about 48 million people in the United States every year, leading to approximately 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Federal organizations and laws like the FDA and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) aim to prevent them, along with conformity assessments of organizations that handle our food, who perform soil, crop, pesticide, and genetically modified food testing.
Accreditation also extends to testing laboratories involved in the processing phase, including routine wet chemistry tests and testing for food additives, food allergens, and dietary supplements. Accreditation also plays a significant part in food safety as it relates to biological risks. A2LA provides accreditation to laboratories that conduct testing for many of the bacteria making headlines today, including Campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, E. Coli O157.
Accredited laboratories represent commercial testing and consulting laboratories, in-house production control laboratories, and the Federal and State government laboratories. When compared to other accreditation bodies, A2LA is staffed with the most experienced personnel to assist our laboratories and organizations through the accreditation process and seasoned, technically suited experts in our cadre of assessors, resulting in a value-added assessment experience.
As we look ahead to 2023, we continue to build capacity to ensure we readily meet the growth of the food industry while maintaining high quality performance. Maintaining an assessor pool with the breadth of technical expertise to match the increasing demands of the food safety industry is a challenge we are enthusiastically undertaking.
So, let’s raise a toast to turkey testing…and tasting! Cheers to an enjoyable holiday season and a prosperous new year, with safe food and drinks for us all.