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SQF 2.5.6iii - In-house heavy metal testing

SQF Heavy Metals

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#1 scottsc

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 04:03 PM

Hello all,

 

Excellent site Simon...Many thanks!!

 

We are a nutritional supplement manufacturer with the majority of our business being Creatine. We are SQF level 2 certified. The question has been asked by the management team, "Can we do any of the lab tests in-house to save some expense?" I think micro's are out of consideration for now, but it seems reasonable that we could test for heavy metals.

 

SQF 2.5.6iii states "All analyses are conducted to nationally recognized methods or alternative methods which are validated as equivalent to the nationally recognized methods."

 

The SQF guidance for this section states "If an internal or company laboratory is used, test methods should be checked against an accredited external laboratory at least once per year."

 

To me, this sounds much like in-house allergen testing for an allergen plan; perform the tests in-house and validate the results with an accredited lab.

 

Am I over simplifying this?

 

Does anyone have experience in this arena and is able to provide some insight?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Scott



#2 Setanta

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 05:48 PM

This is not my forte, (we are Food and SQF level II cert) but I think this means, in order to confirm the accuracy of your in-house lab, you should annually send samples to an accredited lab.  You'll want a copy of their most recent accreditation as well.


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#3 Simon

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:09 PM

Hi Scott, how often do you do heavy metals testing and how much does it cost?

Personally if nothing changes with your product, process or regulations I would expect it maybe every 3-5 year's like migration testing.  Not even annual.

 

What about your suppliers of packaging / ingredients, do they already test and can you use their specifications and data?

 

Regards,

Simon


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#4 Charles.C

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Posted 22 May 2015 - 07:41 PM

Hi scottsc,

 

Not quite sure of yr current operational details / intended plan but can make one comment -

 

IMEX of analytical testing of food samples, unless creatine  (which I’m not familiar with) has some simple, validated, rapid test methods available for heavy metals at the required levels of interest, you may be looking at some significant investments in instrumentation and expertise. And a permanent laboratory installation. If you already have a lab. for allergen testing  presumably no physical problem to expand.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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#5 scottsc

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 03:43 PM

Hi Scott, how often do you do heavy metals testing and how much does it cost?

Personally if nothing changes with your product, process or regulations I would expect it maybe every 3-5 year's like migration testing.  Not even annual.

 

What about your suppliers of packaging / ingredients, do they already test and can you use their specifications and data?

 

Regards,

Simon

Hello Simon,

 

We currently send out samples of all finished goods to a lab for micros and metals, so, several times per week. The test for heavy metals costs $140. We do use our suppliers CoA's/CoC's for raw materials and packaging. We do not have an in-house lab and currently do not do any sort of testing ourselves.

 

Thanks,

 

Scott



#6 scottsc

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Posted 26 May 2015 - 03:49 PM

Hi scottsc,

 

Not quite sure of yr current operational details / intended plan but can make one comment -

 

IMEX of analytical testing of food samples, unless creatine  (which I’m not familiar with) has some simple, validated, rapid test methods available for heavy metals at the required levels of interest, you may be looking at some significant investments in instrumentation and expertise. And a permanent laboratory installation. If you already have a lab. for allergen testing  presumably no physical problem to expand.

Hello Charles,

 

That's what I initially told the group but I thought I would pose the question. We do not have a lab in-house and do not do any testing ourselves at present but it sounds like it in our future.

 

Thanks,

 

Scott







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