As at 6 July 2012, the NF VALIDATION mark has been awarded to 106 food microbiology methods, 4 antibiotic detection methods and 14 water microbiology methods. Manufacturers, get your methods certified to guarantee their performances for laboratories.
Analytical laboratories tasked with detecting legionella, listeria and coliforms can use rapid methods for microbiological analyses. These methods are commercial alternatives to the reference methods described in standards.
For all that, these “commercial kits” must present at least one of these advantages: be faster, less complicated, easier to perform and less expensive than the reference methods. But are the results obtained by these methods as reliable as those obtained by standardised methods?
AFNOR first set up certification of these methods for the food processing sector back in 1989. A collective mark was filed at European level in 2005: NF VALIDATION. In 2006, AFNOR certification developed an application of the NF Validation mark for the water microbiological analysis sector.
By using an NF VALIDATION certified “kit”, you can obtain good performances and similar results to those obtained by standardised reference methods. The NF Validation mark is the leader on the European market and reputed at international level. These are significant guarantees for users and major assets for manufacturers looking to sell their alternative methods as effectively as possible.
NF Validation certified kits in water microbiology – not including kits for detecting/counting legionella by PCR – are particularly recognised by the French Accreditation Committee’s (COFRAC) Laboratories Section, Tests, Water and Aquatic Environments, Water Biological and Microbiological Analyses sector (programme 100-2).
AFNOR Certification is the first certifying body in France to have received COFRAC accreditation. The scope of this accreditation has changed at regular intervals to increase confidence in AFNOR Certification certificates – whether this concern certification of corporate management systems, of skills or of products and services. Find out more at : http://www.afnor.org/metiers/certification/accreditations
As at 6 July 2012, the NF VALIDATION mark has been awarded to 106 food microbiology methods – validated according to the protocol described in standard NF EN ISO 16140 – and 4 antibiotic detection methods. The mark has also been awarded to 14 water microbiology methods.
With regard to the NF VALIDATION mark, certification encompasses the general process implemented (based on very strict rules governing the procedure under which the mark is obtained) and the validation refers to the technical aspect of the procedure. For each method concerned, a validation study (in several stages) is conducted in line with an approved technical protocol to assess the performances of the method to be validated. At the same time, the method production site is inspected to guarantee the secure setup of the quality system from a long-term perspective. Then, once the technical validation has been granted, the surveillance and renewal conditions are defined in the context of the certification procedure.
The NF Validation mark meets the three fundamental requirements of article 5 of European Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs: the mark is awarded by a third party certifying body (AFNOR Certification), it implements the validation protocol described in standard EN ISO 16140 and refers to the methods described in the Regulation Annex for validation.
The French Directorate General for Food (DGAL) has officially written up this recognition in its document DGAL/SDSSA/N2008-8009 of 14 January 2008, which declares that, "For commercial alternative methods, the certification awarded by AFNOR Certification under the "NF VALIDATION" mark meets the requirements of article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005." (See articles 4.1 and 4.3 of this document, which can be downloaded from - http://www.afnor-validation.org/pdf/note-DGAL-N2009-8247.pdf )
Manufacturers, what are you waiting for? Choose alternative methods for microbiological analyses that are NF VALIDATION certified!