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Food testing should be regularly conducted in order to verify that hazards are controlled or are eliminated at the critical control points of a HACCP program as well as at the corrective action stage. These are the points at which the hazard is either eliminated or prevented from entry to product. This is done to ensure the product is safe and free of hazard before being packaged for sale to consumer.

Food safety is conducted on food samples to ensure the safety of the product through laboratory testing results for a number of food products such as: meat and poultry, sea food, milk and dairy products and other types of food products due to the presence of food borne pathogens such as E coli, salmonella, etc., as well as to ensure the safety levels of additional products such as additives, stabilizers, sweeteners added to products during processing. Preservative agents become a hazard if added in levels that result in food poisoning, allergies and even death.

Conducting food safety tests is one sure way to ensure the safety of product before packaging and sale to consumers. Food safety testing is a verification procedure. Verification procedures may also include such activities as review of HACCP plans, CCP records critical limits and microbial sampling and analysis. It is required that the HACCP plan include verification tasks to be performed by plant personnel. Verification tasks would also be performed by inspectors.

The establishment should also undertake microbial testing as one of several verification activities. The categories of food tests most commonly conducted on most food samples are: Microbiological: E coli, Salmonella, Clostridium, Campylobacter, Bacillus, Listeria, molds, etc. Chemical: pH, heavy metals, pesticides, cleaning agents, additives, flavoring, etc. Physical: appearance, moisture content, freshness, colour, smell, particles present (e.g. Broken glass, sharps, hair), etc.

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