LABORATORY NEWS: Cadbury Trebor Bassett wins award

Oxoid, the leading microbiology brand, has awarded first prize in the 2007/2008 Oxoid Food Safety Team of the Year Awards to the Cadbury Trebor Bassett team based at the company’s Chirk site in Wales.

The Cadbury Chirk site is a feedstock site for the larger Cadbury organisation, with the laboratory handling samples of butter and chocolate liquor.  The team’s entry demonstrated their determination to drive forward a continuous quality improvement process which involved improvements in methodologies and changes in factory processes. Their work brought major benefits to the company in terms of food safety. A positive clearance system was introduced, which improved laboratory inspection processes and provided enhanced traceability. With no increase in staffing levels, the frequency of sample testing went up – creating a 200% increase in workload, a laboratory extension was built and commissioned with no disruption to workflow, and new and improved environmental monitoring practices were put in place, including training of maintenance, supply chain partners and contractors, who all now work to Cadbury GMP standards. All of these factors contributed to reductions in out of specification microbiological results over previous years.

The second prize of £500 was awarded to the laboratory team at Fonterra Clandeboye, Timaru, New Zealand.  The Fonterra Co-operative Group is a major producer of dairy products with 97% of products being exported, globally.  The laboratory at Clandeboye is responsible for testing all products produced in the South Island manufacturing plants and, also, from external companies.  During 2007/2008, the laboratory workload increased to receive samples from the North Island, as well. The judges were impressed by the way in which this laboratory had treated the increasing workload as a challenge and had restructured working practices and incorporated quality management principles to maximise effectiveness and increase productivity.

A Judges Special Award was made to Westward Laboratories, Callington, Cornwall, UK, previous winners of the Oxoid Food Safety Team of the Year Award, for their continued contribution to food safety. More information from www.oxoid.com

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