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#1 Marshenko


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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:15 AM

Grrrrr.... On-site personnel that conduct environmental or product testing shall participate in an applicable proficiency testing program at least annually to ensure accuracy of results.


Finishing up some last minute edits (why didn't they ask me sooner?) for a client of mine (across the country)... how is everyone satisfying the requirements of this section?  They are low risk raw meat and poultry (ground and not ground) and do the following tests:


Neogen Reveal for E.coli O157:H7

Neogen Reveal for Salmonella spp

QT10 strips for quat PPM

Hygiena ATP swabs

Colorimeter testing for PAA concentration in an intervention cabinet


Can I prepare a paper review and exam for them utilizing the user manuals, or do I actually need to find a class or process authority to do so?

#2 Marshenko


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Posted 05 December 2017 - 05:38 AM

I mean... as long as the exam prepared is "applicable" to the testing that they are doing... it should pass muster, yes?

#3 FurFarmandFork


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Posted 07 December 2017 - 06:56 PM

IF they're doing any sort of "product release" testing, I would do an actual proficiency test program through AOAC. On my end we only do some sanitation verification testing (indicators only), so we order standards and run them blind, then make sure we were within the limits of the standards. E.g. for idexx simplate they have a QC standard with blind limits.

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#4 SQFconsultant



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Posted 07 December 2017 - 08:26 PM

"applicable proficiency testing program at least annually to ensure accuracy of results."


Nope, sorry, it will not pass muster.


AOAC will do it.


Here's a lab link that may be helpful --


Warm regards,


Glenn Oster


SQF Certification & Implementation Consultant

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#5 zechzplz


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Posted 18 December 2017 - 09:35 PM

Hey Marshenko, I may be a little too late in my response, but the SQF module 2 guidance document is available here: http://www.sqfi.com/documents/ 

There is some guidance on 2.5.4 but it doesn't directly address and its requirement for an applicable proficiency testing program. After reading the guidance, I think the following is key:

If an internal or company laboratory is used, test methods should be checked against an accredited external laboratory at least once per year. The supplier will demonstrate that sampling of product for inspection or analysis is completed using recognized sampling methods. The supplier must ensure that staff is qualified, trained and competent to complete sampling inspection and analyses.



I think if you're able to (aka, if it's practical and applicable), then you should participate in an applicable proficiency program. It may even be one that you created! For example, our company does TPC and Y&M. Every year we send out samples to external labs we use for TPC and Y&M analysis. We compare their results to the results we get to demonstrate proficiency. I believe some tests are not practical to show proficiency and in those instances, I think it should be sufficient to demonstrate that you're using recognized sampling methods, and that your staff is trained, evaluated, and qualified (e.g. through training records, employee evaluations, etc...). 


If all else fails, you can always email SQFi and see their response! 



P.S. I am not good with idioms, what does "pass muster" mean? 

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#6 tadelong


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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:06 PM

To pass muster is to meet or exceed the challenge in front of you.

#7 t3hpr0phet


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Posted 22 December 2017 - 07:34 PM

Stems from the times when you would "muster the troops" meaning to gather the fighting men for inspection.  Passing muster would mean that the contingent was sufficiently gathered possibly also referring to sufficient equipment.  

#8 Charles.C


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Posted 22 December 2017 - 11:11 PM

Offhand, without reading the Guidance, It sounds like SQF want people to engage in what is popularly known as a "Ring Test/Program" of which Post 5 is a simple example. Basically involves comparing the results of various labs when handling a number of replicated, test samples.


IMEX most micro.labs do this at least annually as a matter of routine. Large scale international programs have previously revealed major limitations in relative capabilities for pathogen testing, eg Salmonella.

Kind Regards,



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