The design I have proposed below is for a Food Processing Company characterized by low technology but a need to have a Quality Assurance Program.
I would like to start with the Terminology because of the several different usages of the term ‘sample’ and ‘test material’.
Sample is used for the part of a larger “lot”(e.g a consignment, batch, carton, container and load ) which is sent to the Laboratory for analysis. When the sample is received by the laboratory it becomes a “test material”(Codex Alimentarius, AOAC International & IUPAC) . The Laboratory is responsible for its “traceability” and for its “integrity”.
Sampling & Analysis
“QA is the sum of all the activities taken to ensure that the information generated by the Laboratory is correct ( Wilcox et al., 1978 )”
It is important that Laboratory is involved in discussions on sampling plans and in determining the sample sizes. Confidence in the decision meets/fails to meet a specification is dependent both on (a) the effectiveness of the sampling plan in obtaining a sample which is representative of the lot (b) the quality of the analysis carried out on it.
Quality Assurance Program
“Without a defined Quality Assurance program all analytical result must be suspect. ( Harnly & Wolf 1984 ).”
The identity and integrity of materials being handled by the Laboratory must be ensured throughout the time when they are under the control of the Laboratory, e.g. from sample receipt to data report and authorized disposal of surplus material.
Analyses provide reliable values for the composition of representative samples of the food. The analytical data reported must reflect the composition of the received sample as a whole.
The QA program will include appropriate procedures and documentation.
Responsibilities of the Quality Assurance Unit
The first step is the formation of a Quality Assurance...