CANADA – Olymel, a Canadian meat packing food processing company,  has set up its own central microbiology laboratory, in a bid to improve quality control.

This new laboratory’s analyses will focus on detecting primary pathogens like listeria and salmonella and confirming product shelf life (expiry date).

Already a priority in its operations, the company’s commitment to health, safety and quality is further cemented by this new initiative.

The existing infrastructure of its plant in Ange-Gardien, Montérégie, in which the company invested, will house this new entity’s activities.

Sylvain Fournaise, Vice President, Food Safety and Technical Services, and Research and Development noted that bringing previously outsourced analyses and tests in-house, will enable Olymel to develop its own expertise, shorten turnaround times, and significantly reduce costs related to laboratory analyses across the company

The Ange-Gardien facilities were automated and its equipment upgraded to PCR technology, which will make analysis methods even more efficient and increase information traceability. This laboratory is licensed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“Now that this sector is in-house, the laboratory will have the capacity to perform over 100,000 tests per year. This will give our company more autonomy to validate processes within the framework of the Safe Quality Food (SQF) certification obtained by all our plants, and our quality assurance management will be even more effective,” Fournaise said.

Under the supervision of Delphine Sène, Director of Food Safety at Olymel, a team of five professionals have been stationed to permanently work in this new central microbiology laboratory.

Nonetheless, the company will continue to entrust analysis requests and tests required by a regulatory body like the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or Olymel’s clients to independent laboratories. 

With about 30 years of existence, Olymel is now the Canadian leader in producing, processing and marketing pork and poultry meat. Some of its brands include Olymel, Flamingo and Lafleur which has held pride of place at Quebec dinner tables for more than 100 years.

“We have over 30 plants in five Canadian provinces, and we’re passionate about fulfilling our mission of feeding the world every single day by focusing on innovation, quality and excellence in every area across our business,” says Yanick Gervais, President and CEO, Olymel.

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