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The laboratory offers a very wide variety of analyses which are not listed and there is a good chance that the laboratory may offer the exemption. However, if standards are required to be imported, then the time to complete the analysis might be quite long (it usually takes 1-2 months to receive the controlled substance to the lab).
Most of the laboratory’s customers are food related businesses. The laboratory’s main business is actually to help and offer services to the food industry. It helps in the production line by offering advice about the good manufacturing practices, the hygiene conditions, testing of the raw materials and final product etc. It can also help in the product labeling and the food legislation as far as the particular product in concerned.
It may also offer personnel training in specialized subjects in the areas of product production, practices and legislation requirements. Another area the laboratory may help is the development innovative and new products.
Is not a usual practice for the Foodlab to deal with human blood or any other parameter a clinical lab is specialized in, however, it may help in difficult cases such as heavy metals in human blood or human milk, in human hair etc.
Certification is the procedure at which a product or service are checked by an independent body which verifies that certain checks and procedures are followed throughout the product production or service delivery.
Accreditation is the procedure at which a service is checked by an independent national body which verifies that the procedures and methodologies of measurements/analyses performed are the internationally accepted ones and assures that highly skilled specialized auditors have witnessed the correctness of the application of the said methods and established procedures.
Standardization is the procedure for the production and issuing of a prototype product or method which is accepted by the official bodies of a country.
Accreditation is generally offered to certification bodies and laboratories. The certification bodies may certify methodologies and products and can very well be private businesses or governmental organizations.
A laboratory may be accredited if it can prove (a) its independence, (b) the establishment of certain procedures within the lab, (c) the use of internationally accepted methodologies for analyses/measurements, (d) the verification and validation of the methods used, and (e) its success to inter-laboratory comparisons.
In Europe, according to a relevant EU directive, each country has to have its own National accreditation body.
In Cyprus the National body responsible for the accreditation is KOPP (Cyprus Organization for the Promotion of Quality), in Greece is ESYD, in the UK is UKAS, in Denmark is DANAK, etc.
The European Union has set accreditation as the criterion for accepting products across borders. Especially for imports from third countries (countries outside the Union) the requirements are very strict and analyses form European accredited laboratories are required for the imports.
Certificates issued by accredited laboratories within the Union are mutually acceptable within EU.
Following this policy, certificates issued by non-accredited laboratories may not be acceptable at the point of entry and extra checks are required to allow the importation.
The scope of accreditation of laboratory is an integral part of its accreditation certificate. The scope specifies the explicit tests that the accreditation body auditors have witnessed and offered accreditation along with other details.
The parameters on the scope of accreditation are also the ones that the laboratory may provide to legal entities and judiciary in cases of disagreements and legal battles verifying its abilities to perform the questioned determinations. In the absence of such documents the results of the laboratory may be questioned and rejected.
It is almost impossible for a laboratory to receive accreditation on every possible parameter as the expenses for such a scope will be huge.
Each laboratory accredits methods according to the needs of its customers and for the parameters that it’s economically viable to have on its scope.
Foodlab today has one of the largest scopes of accreditation in the region. The number of the accredited parameters on its scope of accreditation exceeds 500 and the number keeps increasing. The exact scope of accreditation can be obtained directly from the KOPP website at http://www.mcit.gov.cy/mcit/cys/cys.nsf/index_2?Openform