Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
30 August 2006
Geest and Unilever Food Testing Labs Receive Top Prizes in the Oxoid Food and Brewing Awards
The judges of the 2005/2006 Oxoid Food and Brewing Awards have given joint first place honours to two food testing labs – Geest Central Laboratory (Geest Ltd, Holbeach, Lincolnshire, UK) and Unilever Laboratories (Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Food, Lowestoft, Suffolk, UK) for the exceptional work undertaken in the past year by each team.
The judges were impressed by the way Geest Central Laboratory had introduced new and improved testing methods and expanded the level of testing undertaken. What made them one of the first prize winners was that these improvements were achieved at the same time as consolidating two laboratories into one (with the closure of one laboratory site and the consequent retraining and restructuring involved in such an amalgamation) and while implementing a new laboratory information management system (LIMS).
The laboratory at Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Food, were also awarded first prize. They impressed the judges with the improvements they had made not only to their working practices but also to internal company relations. They had adopted a “one lab” project that combined the talents of the chemistry and microbiology laboratories, leading to new policies, procedures and ways of working while, at the same time, gaining ISO17025 accreditation. The laboratory now offers the services of an internal “Customer Service Representative” that can help and advise on analytical methods that may assist, for example, in new product development.
“There was no doubt in our minds that both Geest Ltd and Unilever Ice Cream and Frozen Foods should be joint first winners – we just couldn’t choose between them. They have faced different challenges but the efforts made by both clearly demonstrated excellent team working and a commitment to improving standards of food safety and hygiene within their respective organisations”, says Cheryl Mooney, Food & Industrial Applications Manager at Oxoid Ltd and Chairman of the Judges. “It’s an unusual move to award two first prizes, but this shows the exceptional quality of both laboratories and we are delighted to reward them both”.
Alliance Technical Labs Ltd (Suffolk, UK) took third prize; the judges were impressed that this laboratory had maintained UKAS accreditation whilst relocating their laboratory. A Highly Commended Award was given to Northern Foods PLC (Nottingham, UK), whose team had really pulled together in the implementation of a LIMS programme.
The Awards winners will be presented with their prizes at the Oxoid Food Seminar Day to be held on 25 September 2006 at Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Association.
For more information on the Awards winners or the Oxoid Food Seminar Day please contact Cheryl Mooney, Oxoid Ltd, on (tel) +44 (0) 1256 841144, (fax) +44 (0) 1256 329728 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.