Observations from the 3rd MicroVal Symposium
The 3rd MicroVal symposium, with the title ‘Five years of validation Past and Future’ was held in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on 15 March 2012. The symposium was attended by key-players from all areas in the food industry from Europe, North-America, Africa and Asia.
After 5 years of validations the time was ripe to share experiences and explore area’s in which MicroVal could develop in the future. Users and producers of rapid test methods, public authorities and certification bodies provided a background with plenty of feedback. A wide variety of issues in relation to the validation of rapid methods was discussed, including the possible validation of microbiological methods for water (introduction by Kirsten Mooijman of RIVM, Netherlands) and viruses in food (introduction by Sophie Butot, Nestec Ltd, Switzerland).
Dr Netty Zegers gave a clear overview of the MicroVal structure and the functioning of the validation and certification scheme (NEN/MicroVal Secretariat).
Dr Paul in ‘t Veld updated participants on the on-going revision of EN-ISO 16140:2003 and the implications for the MicroVal validation studies. This standard establishes the general principle and the technical protocol for the validation of alternative methods in the field of microbiological analysis of food, animal feeding stuff and environmental and veterinary samples. Its use is required by the EU.
Furthermore the test kit producers shared their experiences with the MicroVal validation and certification (Drs Ronald Niemeijer, R-Biopharm AG, Germany, Dr Jean Louis Pittet, bioMérieux, France, Philip T. Feldsine, BioControl Systems, USA).
Dr Danièle Sohier, Adria Développement, France touched upon the combination of validation studies and the relation between MicroVal and AOAC-RI.
Finally Dr Roland E. Poms, Secretary General of MoniQA gave an introduction into the MoniQA association that deals with International harmonisation of food safety assessment performance standards.
When you click on the hyperlinked subjects in this article you will find the abstract of the relevant presentation.