I am quickly entering the scientific portion of the whole QA/Food Safety thing and am woefully ill-prepared.
Basic question: where have you guys sourced your scientific documentation back up from?
Example: We historically have not reviewed our COAs when the product has come in. It's placed in a binder and off we go. Since I've come on board and started learning, I've come to understand that we should be reviewing the COAs and approving them prior to using the ingredients.
But where do I turn to start learning and understanding what microbial testing is standard or should be expected for each ingredient or type of ingredient? And how can I find a (reliable!!) source for acceptable results of those tests? Some COAs list the standard (??? for lack of a better word) against which they are testing and others don't. Where does this come from? Do you guys have your suppliers put the method and standard of testing on your COAs? How do I learn whether the method and/or standard of testing is appropriate for the ingredient?
Also, I understand that we should be having independent testing conducted at regular intervals but it seems we'd need the method and standard of testing from our suppliers to order the same test from an independent lab in order to test apples to apples.......right? If so, then we would HAVE to have the method/standard on the COA so we know how/what to test to.
There should be some basis in historical data in that we've been producing safe product for 5 years using these ingredients from these suppliers without an issue but my understanding is that will only take us so far.
A Google search is fine and dandy but that will often turn out results from NIH, University programs, etc. and I could not follow a document from NIH to save my life.
Thank you in advance for your support and insight,