Technical Services Laboratory Earns Global Accreditation

Lab workers in front of tech building

Sanderson Farms’ Technical Services Laboratory Earns Global Accreditation

Sanderson Farms’ Technical Services Laboratory recently earned a national accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for technical competence in the field of biological testing. The ISO 17025 accreditation is in accordance with the recognized international standard and demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope and the operation of a laboratory quality management system.

In the poultry business as any other food production industry, quality products and food safety standards are of primary concern. To ensure that our products are of the highest quality, Sanderson Farms’ extensive quality control initiatives include laboratory testing of our meat products as a means of validating our antimicrobial interventions.

As the nation’s third largest poultry producer, Sanderson Farms currently sells products to customers across the nation and exports products to five of seven continents and more than 50 countries. In several of our export markets, the World Trade Organization has chosen the ISO 17025 international standard as a set of guidelines that laboratories participating in the testing of goods to be sold internationally must adhere to.

The ISO 17025 accreditation was awarded to Sanderson Farms’ Technical Services Laboratory on the basis of the hard work put forth by the following laboratory team members: Dr. Marty Ewing, Director of Technical Services; Kimberly Branch Jefferson, Laboratory Quality Manager; Rob Lawhon, Microbiology Laboratory Supervisor; Louis Wilford, Corporate Microbiologist; and Lab Technicians Paulean Rhodes, Sharon Clark, Ikeyonia Harper and Kia Williams.

“I am both humbled and grateful for what we have accomplished this year, but I am more excited for what lies ahead,” said Jefferson. “The hard work and support that Sanderson Farms displayed for this achievement will undoubtedly keep us on the road to being the best (not necessarily the biggest) laboratory in our industry supporting the best company in our industry.”

Under the leadership of Dr. Ewing and management of Jefferson and Lawhon, Sanderson Farms’ Technical Services Laboratory began endeavors to achieve ISO 17025 accreditation back in 2015 for biological testing of raw poultry meat and poultry carcass. The path to accreditation for Sanderson Farms included forming a quality management system and ensuring the quality of and adherence to technical methods. This system includes policies and procedures which involve areas of lab operations such as control of records and documents, personnel, equipment, vendors, continuous improvement, as well as ensuring the quality of our testing and much more.

“We want to recognize all the hard work put in by the Laboratory Staff and congratulate them on their accomplishments,” said Dr. Ewing. “They truly earned it.”

The A2LA has been accrediting laboratories since 1978. To maintain the accredited status, Sanderson Farms’ Technical Services Laboratory must continue to adhere to the regulations outlined by the A2LA. The association will perform periodic assessments of the laboratory in order to validate their continuous incorporation of standard guidelines into laboratory operations, as well as to monitor the laboratory’s growth and continual improvement.

PHOTO CAPTION:

From left: Kia Williams, Laboratory Technician; Louis Wilford, Corporate Microbiologist; Ikeyonia Harper, Laboratory Technician; Paulean Rhodes, Laboratory Technician; Dr. Marty Ewing, Director of Technical Services; Rob Lawhon, Microbiology Laboratory Supervisor; Sharon Clark, Laboratory Technician; and Kimberly Branch Jefferson, Laboratory Quality Manager.

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