The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has implemented a new "hold and test" policy requiring food processing plants to hold raw beef and all ready-to-eat products containing meat until they pass lab testing. Holding perishable items in plants while waiting for test results means product spends less time on store shelves before reaching its sell-by date. Shorter shelf life means less product sells before the label date, generating less revenue than the same product would have generated in the past.
For many companies this adds a hurdle to an already complicated and expensive lab testing and tracking process. As the news of this new USDA policy reached primary and further processors across the country, interest in one U.S. Company's solution to this problem has soared.
CAT Squared (CAT²), a software and service company for the food industry, has developed the CAT Squared Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS). With the LIMS software, food processors partnering with CAT Squared could see increases in market share as competitors scramble to comply with this new policy.
"The CAT Squared LIMS solution exceeds the typical capabilities of a laboratory information system," said Mike Sardinha , CEO of CAT Squared. "CAT Squared's LIMS is the missing link in a completely-integrated solution operating in a highly regulated environment. LIMS begins with time-based plant floor sampling. Users schedule and monitor samples, and the system will automatically send out emails or SMS notifications when samples are late or have been missed."
Once samples are collected, CAT Squared's LIMS generates documentation for each batch as part of a bar-coded chain of custody. Samples are then accepted and registered into the lab with instructions for performing each test. User-defined standard operating procedures ensure that personnel follow the appropriate sampling procedures.
CAT Squared's LIMS strictly enforces the chain of custody, even in a complex environment, eliminating common errors and missing data. With CAT Squared's LIMS, information flows more efficiently, is tracked accurately, and product is shipped in a timely manner while ensuring compliance to government and customer regulations.