Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
06 May 2003
TWO LABORATORIES WIN 1st PRIZE IN OXOID LAB OF THE YEAR!
In recognition of the different demands made on in-house and contract food testing laboratories, Oxoid decided that the first prize in this year’s Oxoid Laboratory of the Year should be awarded in both categories. After a rigorous day’s judging the winner of ‘Contract Laboratory of Year’ was named as Eclipse Scientific’s microbiology lab based in Ashford, Kent and the ‘In-House Laboratory of the Year’ award went to Katsouris of Wembley Middlesex.
The laboratory at Eclipse performs analysis on food, water, pharmaceutical and environmental samples. In a year where they faced an increasing workload and relocation of the laboratory (with complete revalidation, audit and approval of all UKAS accredited methods within one month of moving), plus the addition of a further 5 methods to the UKAS scope of accreditation and the validation of all methods applicable to the new drinking water regulations, the judges felt that the laboratory team had shown tremendous dedication; maintaining and even improving on their high standards of service throughout challenging times. The laboratory’s on-going commitment to staff training and development, and the high priority given to customer service were also factors that persuaded the judges to award them the prize.
Katsouris are manufacturers of ready meals for the major food retailers and their in-house laboratory performs microbiological and chemical testing on these short shelf life convenience foods - from raw materials through to finished product - as well as environmental monitoring. In addition to their routine testing work, the laboratory’s p roactive approach to factory hygiene, commitment to training and involvement in new product development was cited by the judges as being an extraordinarily successful use of a small team of people.
“I think this award is a fantastic way of acknowledging people for their hard work and effort” says Mike Wigglesworth of Eclipse. “It’s great that Oxoid has recognised the differences in the types of work carried out by contract and in-house laboratories, providing a separate award for each category.” Ravendra Chand of Katsouris echoes these sentiments, “We are all extremely pleased to have won this Oxoid Award and to have the work of our in-house laboratory so publicly recognised within the industry.”
Southern Salads ( Tonbridge , Kent) received 2nd prize for their holistic approach to food hygiene and the lab at Del Monte ( Thetford , Norfolk) received 3rd prize for their devotion to maintaining high standards whilst undergoing a change of ownership.
Oxoid devised the ‘Laboratory of the Year’ award to recognise outstanding microbiological achievement within the food industry. The finalists were selected by a distinguished panel of judges from throughout the industry including Chris Bell, food industry consultant and author of many books on food microbiology, Melody Greenwood, Laboratory Director at Wessex Environmental Microbiology Services – winners of last year’s Laboratory of the Year Award - and Roy Betts, Head of Microbiology at Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association.