AOAC's Proficiency Testing Program Scores High-Receives Accreditation
Microbiology Programs (MO1, MO8, MO9)
The Standard Microbiology Program was developed for laboratories
that compete in the area of food safety. This program helps laboratories
prove proficiency in detection of pathogens (including Salmonella,
E. coli O157:H7, and Listeria), as well as quantifying
coliforms, E. coli, Coagulase Positive Staphylococcus,
yeast and mold, Bacillus cereus, and aerobic organisms. The program offers eight
test samples-four qualitative and four quantitative. Additionally,
participants have the option of reporting and being evaluated on
O and H antigens for Salmonella and identifying Listeria
species. A laboratory may perform as many or as few analyses among
the tests listed above. This program is also available without E.
coli O157:H7 (MO8) and without E. coli O157:H7 and Listeria
For laboratories that do not routinely test for pathogens, AOAC
offers the Pathogen-Free Program, which offers an opportunity to
participate in a microbiology program without bringing potentially
hazardous pathogens into the laboratory. The program includes four
samples of mashed potatoes for quantitative determination of coliform,
E. coli, yeast and mold, and aerobic plate count. A laboratory
may perform as many or as few analyses among the tests listed above.
Meat Microbiology Programs
(MO3, MO4, MO5, M10, M12)
Foodborne pathogens pose a serious problem in the United States,
annually five million illnesses and four thousand deaths are attributed
to meat and poultry products. And, because outbreaks of Listeria
monocytogenes, E. coli O157:H7, and Salmonella
are making headlines, many companies are eager to prove the safety
of their foods. With the increased public concern surrounding foodborne
pathogens, laboratories are under considerable pressure to provide
detailed analyses in a host of meat related areas. To address these
requirements, AOAC offers three modules within its Meat Microbiology
Program. The first (MO3) provides 10 ground meat samples to determine
different Salmonella . The second (MO4) provides 10 ground
meat samples to test the presence of absence of E. coli O157:H7.
Finally, laboratories may choose a module (MO5) which includes
12 processed meat samples, that determines the presence or absence
of Listeria monocytogenes.
In addition, for those laboratories that wish to analyze all three
pathogens or two pathogens in a meat matrix, AOAC offers two combination
pathogen programs in a meat matrix (M10 and M12). The first Combination
Pathogen Program (M10) offers participating laboratories the opportunity
to test for Salmonella species in a ground meat matrix (four samples),
E. coli O157:H7 in a ground meat matrix (four samples), and Listeria
monocytogenes in a processed meat matrix (four samples). Now AOAC
offers a second combination program, Combination Pathogen Program
without E. coli O157: H7 (M12), for laboratories testing for Salmonella species in a ground meat matrix (four samples) and Listeria monocytogenes in a processed meat matrix (four samples).
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for nutrition labeling demand food chemistry panels adhere to strict federal guidelines. AOAC offers proficiency testing programs for both meat (C01) and cheese (C02) chemistry with two samples per shipment. Each program offers analysis of protein, moisture, fat, salt, ash, carbohydrate, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and calories. In addition, the C01 Meat Chemistry Program offers analysis of nitrite*, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and trans fatty acids. The C02 Cheese Chemistry program also offers analysis of lactose*, galactose*, phosphorus, saturated fat, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and trans fatty acids.
* These analytes are currently not included in the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Proficiency Testing Programs scope of accreditation.
in Fruits and Vegetables Program (PO1)
In an effort to meet the needs of the analytical laboratory community,
AOAC recently added the Pesticide Residues in Fruits and Vegetables
Program. Laboratories participating in the program can test for
an extensive array of pesticide residues in a fruit and vegetable
matrix (PO1). The list of chemicals tested in the program was developed
after an extensive survey of international needs and interests.
Countries participating in the survey included the United States,
Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Australia.
The Pesticide Residues in Fruits and Vegetables Program features:
56 possible chemicals, Three shipments of testing materials per
year, three test samples per shipment, and a fruit and vegetable
To assist analytical laboratories in tailoring the program to fit
their specific needs, laboratories are asked to provide a listing
of those residues that they will be testing. Participants are only
evaluated for these specific residues and the report provided will
clearly identify these pesticides. Click
here to view a list of Pesticide Residues.