A Guide to Product Testing in Your Food Facility

Product testing is a crucial factor in food manufacturing industries to ensure that the health of the public is not at risk.  It requires a thorough food analysis involving numerous tests, not just microbiology testing. 

You need to ask yourself several questions, such as:

  • what is my application for the product?
  • is the product prone to infections by/being a host of specific microorganisms?
  • what is the volume of product manufactured?

When testing it is also important to keep the following points in mind:

Testing must meet the desired specifications from the customer and can confirm that regulatory guidelines/export are followed. Testing also reveals if good hygiene practices are being followed and can help identify risk factors.

Testing is also required for specific outcomes such as:

  • Nutritional values - to reduce labeling risk and provide tangible quality monitoring.
  • Product quality measurements – to prove the product is acceptable to consumers in terms of nutrients, microbial levels, safety, appearance, texture and more.
  • Shelf life and product performance determinations – to ensure quality, longevity, and customer satisfaction.
  • Functionality of physical attributes analysis.
  • Process verification.

This involves environmental monitoring (including surfaces, hands and air testing) and water monitoring (including chemical, physical and microbiological analyses) and is a key component for sectors such as poultry hatchery and growers, poultry abattoirs, red meat abattoirs, processed meat abattoirs and for fresh produce and other processed food.

Sampling and sending samples for testing might seem a tedious and expensive exercise, but it is vital for the security of the food industry and for protection of the customer.


SMT has a comprehensive paper outlining these issues and more, to assist you on what to test.

You can download it for free now.
For assistance contact testing@smtlabs.co.za

Download SMT Product Testing Guide.pdf