Food-Testing Laboratories Key Terms

Learn food-testing laboratories key terms to ensure the safety of your products

When it comes to food, safety and cleanliness matter above all else. Every restaurateur or owner of a food-manufacturing facility understands the consequences a business can suffer if it doesn't take precautions to ensure that its foods and beverages don't present a serious health risk. To that end, businesses today depend on food-testing laboratories to perform standardized tests that will identify and remove harmful contaminants. Here's an overview of key facts and terms that any one in the food business should be aware of in order to understand the significance of food testing.

Natural contaminants

This broad term includes the insect filth, rodent hair and parasites that can make their way into the foods we eat, either by accident or through food cultivation and processing.

Package integrity

When companies test for food package integrity, they try to make sure these packages are able to keep food clean and sterile from the time immediately following manufacture or processing to when they reach the consumer.

Food-thermal processing

Food-thermal processing is a method of applying heat to foods so as to eliminate harmful microorganisms.

Shelf-life testing

Shelf-life testing is performed so that researchers can accurately estimate the time frame during which a product will remain safe for consumption once it has left the manufacturer.

Extraneous-matter analysis

This broad term includes all objective measurements to find foreign matter in food and beverages.

Food-sanitation inspections

Performed at food businesses by third parties, food-sanitation inspections are intended to help restaurant and food-service owners identify any practices that pose a serious health risk. For example, a food-sanitation inspector may detect that your cooks are not doing an adequate job of sanitizing work surfaces that were used to prepare poultry.

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