In the News

Food Safety Testing Shifts to 3rd Party Contract Testing Labs

A new report from Strategic Consulting, Inc. details the growing trend in food companies to send quality and safety testing offsite to third party contract testing laboratories. The volume of food testing conducted at contract labs is growing at a faster rate than the total food testing market, and is expected to continue to do so over the next five years.

Food companies around the world increasingly rely on 3rd party contract testing laboratories for their food quality and safety testing. In 2013, worldwide revenue for food contract testing labs will exceed $3 billion, with a compound annual growth rate of 9.4%. SCI’s Food Contract Lab Report (FCLR) is the first report to examine this market segment in detail, and reviews test volumes, revenues and emerging trends in quality and safety testing conducted by third party laboratories for food companies around the world.

With the volume of food testing conducted at contract labs growing at a faster rate than the food testing market as a whole, this trend has implications for both food companies and diagnostic test manufacturers. read more…

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8 Things to Know about Bacterial Outbreaks from the Recent CDC Report on Foodborne Outbreaks and Illness

I’ve spent some time analyzing the recent data released by the CDC on foodborne disease outbreaks and illnesses for the period 1998-2010. My basic conclusion from a review of the numbers is that our food supply seems to be safer than the broad estimates provided by the CDC and, as a result, reported by the news media and assumed by the general public.

I discuss some of the broad numbers in my latest blog for Food Safety Magazine, but drill down specifically into foodborne bacterial outbreaks in this blog. read more…

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Food Safety—Is It As Bad As Reported?

Marked by major food recalls, stalled regulations, a continued decline in public confidence and ever-present media coverage, 2012 won’t be remembered as a banner year for food safety.

But, what is the truth about the safety of our food? Is it as bad as reported? read more…

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Drought, STECs and the Price of Ground Beef

At least two factors will be driving up the cost of ground beef:

  • The abnormal weather that is impacting corn production.
  • The implementation of the new testing regulations for STECs.

I am not a weather expert or fully versed on raising cattle. Having said that, this year’s record high temperatures and drought conditions are certain to drive up the cost of beef. Also impacting the retail price of ground beef will be the new regulations on testing for E. coli O157 and other STECs, which went into effect on June 4, 2012. Everything indicates that the level of positive results will increase significantly under these new regulations. read more…

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Multiplexing Becoming a Reality for Food Pathogen Testing

Dupont and Seegene to jointly develop highly multiplexed assays for food safety testing

In our previous blog post, we discussed the evolution of pathogen testing for food safety and the increasing need for multiplexing to be able to analyze for more than one pathogen at a time. read more…

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New BD Diagnostics and SDIX Collaboration: Will 1 + 1 = 3?

New Partnerships Between Diagnostic Companies Have Created Synergies with the Potential to Deliver Real Innovation in Food Safety Testing.

In my last blog, I discussed Life Technologies’ acquisition of Matrix MicroScience. A new collaboration between SDIX and BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), also is intriguing. read more…

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Food Microbiology Diagnostics — Will 1 + 1 = 3?

Recent diagnostic company and technology pairings are creating innovative microbiology solutions for the food processing industry

Strategic Consulting has just completed a market research and publication cycle for its most recent report, Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe. One thing is clear, the food microbiology market will see more and more partnering of companies, products and technologies to come up with solutions that meet customer requirements. It’s not always possible to get to that “best solution” based on the technologies resident at one company. Why not go out and combine strengths with others if it will result in a better solution?

A couple of new diagnostic company pairings have created synergies with the potential to deliver real innovation in food safety testing: Life Technologies’ acquisition in January of Matrix MicroScience, and a new collaboration announced in February between SDIX and BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company).

read more…
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New Report on Food Safety Microbiology Testing in Europe Published

Strategic Consulting is pleased to announce the publication of our 15th market research report, Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe (Food Micro—6).

Food Micro—6 is the first definitive report to focus exclusively on the European food microbiology testing market, and reviews the methods, technologies, companies, regulations and trends shaping food safety testing in Europe.

In preparing this new report, Strategic Consulting (SCI) conducted more than 175 detailed interviews in 11 European countries accounting for 77% of all agricultural/food value-added in the European Union. Because of this primary research with European food-processing plants, Food Micro—6 is able to offer new, detailed data on European food safety testing including:

  • Test volumes
  • Market value
  • Methods used for routine and pathogen testing
  • Costs per test performed
  • Testing practices by segment for meat, dairy, fruits/vegetables, and processed food
  • Variations by country
  • Expected changes in future testing practices

Strategic Consulting has published six reports to date reviewing quality and safety testing in the food industry. The food sector represents almost 50% of the total industrial microbiology testing market, and is more than double the size of any other industrial segment including pharmaceutical, personal care products, beverage, environmental, and industrial processes.

For more information about Food Micro, Sixth Edition: Food Microbiology Testing in Europe, download a prospectus, email, or call Strategic Consulting’s U.S. office at 802-457-9933.


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New 3M Detection Platform Great Addition to Food Safety Testing Product Line

3M has announced the launch of a new pathogen detection platform, the 3M Molecular Detection System. This new product line makes perfect sense, and should be an excellent and synergistic addition to 3M’s PetriFilm, ATP, and sample prep products. Given the detection technology approach, the instrument has a small footprint and the protocol is very easy to use.

“Pathogen testing has now been made simple and affordable,” said Niki Montgomery, 3M Food Safety global marketing development manager. “…Numerous organisms can be tested in a single run and it was designed to help our customers perform fewer repeat tests and make critical decisions faster.”

Read the full press release.

After reviews of 3M’s investor presentations and IAFP meeting buzz, we mentioned rumors of this product/technology several months ago in this blog. Products like this will help food producers justify keeping pathogen analysis at their plant labs. Also, this technology platform should help companies migrate from traditional and other methods to molecular methods.

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Food Industry Needs Better Test Methods to Regain Consumer Confidence

Without the technology to test at multiple points along the food chain, even significant increases in end product testing won’t eliminate food recalls or restore consumer confidence in food producers.

As the number of illnesses and deaths from listeria-tainted cantaloupes grows, the safety of the U.S. food supply is again in the spotlight. So too, are the roles and responsibilities of government, food producers, food retailers and restaurants, and ultimately consumers themselves, in ensuring that food is healthy and safe.

Given the increased attention—and food recalls—consumers’ fears are growing. The 2011 Consumer Food and Product Insights Survey produced by Deloitte says that 73% of respondents are more concerned now than five years ago about the food they eat—and that number is up from 65% just last year.

Judging by the amount of food safety testing, the U.S. food industry is paying attention. Strategic Consulting (SCI) has been tracking changes to microbiology testing practices in the U.S. food industry for more than 15 years. Our latest market report, Food Micro—5, shows an increase in microbiology testing in the U.S. food industry of 14.4% since 2008. In 2010, 213.2 million microbiology tests were collected in U.S. food plants with more than 25 employees. Even more important, during the same two-year period, testing for specific pathogens like Listeria and Salmonella increased by more than 30%. read more…

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