MATRIX GEMINI LIMS AT WORK IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY

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1 MATRIX GEMINI LIMS AT WORK IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY Real Time Traceability in Microbiology at Westward Laboratories Cornwall Quality is the Result "Using the configuration tools we have been able to update and expand our LIMS system over the years Automation and mechanisation are key requirements in high throughput environments such as analytical laboratories. The implementation of Autoscribe s Matrix LIMS at Westward Laboratories in Cornwall together with Kiestra Lab Automation (The Netherlands) systems demonstrates how such projects, can lead to increased productivity, reduced human errors, and improved tracking and traceability. Ultimately as Dr Nicola Wilson, General and Technical Manager at Westward Laboratories says Quality is the Result. The well trained team at Westward Laboratories consists of qualified microbiologists, who conduct daily routine microbiological testing on finished products; regular pathogen tests for evidence of Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and other food poisoning organisms, as well as environmental monitoring. Every analyst goes through three phases of training and every analyst is fully trained to do every task. The laboratories do not just push samples through the lab which ensures that Quality is the Result from Westward Laboratories not just results. Administrators ensure accurate and timely sample logging and reporting, and Westward also offers real time reporting and trend analysis to its customers via a dedicated web service. We can still access all of our historical data and we have been able to always meet the ever changing user and business Real Time Trend Analysis Report Each month the lab handles over 30,000 micro tests and 7,000 pathogen tests. Chemical analyses are contracted out to an external laboratory. Westward s microbiology laboratory processes hundreds of samples each day for microbiological analyses such as total viable count, yeast and mould, coliforms, e-coli, enterobacteriaceae, salmonella, etc. Thus there was a requirement for a system which would not only automate the actual testing process but also track and trace the samples and associated results to fully comply with regulatory requirements. Westward has to comply with current UKAS requirements and helps to ensure food manufacturers are implementing HACCP to ensure food safety. Nicola noted that Because of the excellent standard of staff training and the implementation of second to none real time traceability and the confidence that Matrix LIMS brings, not only is food safety assured for the public but the high reputation of Samworth Brothers and their products is ensured. CSFoodV2 Page 1 of 6

2 Matrix LIMS and real time bar coding with BarcodA Matrix LIMS can be further configured to meet new requirements therefore the system does not have to be replaced. The key to real-time automation is barcode labelling of all sample carriers (such as bags, tubes, dishes, bottles) provided by Kiestra s BarcodA system. This is used in conjunction with Autoscribe s Matrix LIMS system (a fully configurable LIMS system with comprehensive audit trails, version control and sample tracking functionality). Samples are registered into Matrix LIMS using configured screens that match Westward s precise requirements. Minor and/or major changes can be made to keep the system in line with changing A Configured Matrix LIMS Sample Registration Screen Samples are also provided with a barcode which is generated by Matrix LIMS for comprehensive, detailed and audited sample tracking. A typical swab sample registration label is shown on the next page. Labels are configurable - this example swab label has a barcode, a unique readable sample code, sample description and a list of the test required. CSFoodV2 Page 2 of 6

3 A Typical Swab Sample Label The first step of each sample s preparation is dilution which is performed by Kiestra s gravimetric dilutor, the SynergA. This gravimetric dilutor is connected to a PC via TraceA software which allows.full.traceability.of.all.dilution.operations. Excellent fit to initial Automated sample preparation and dilution with SynergA and TraceA In fully automatic mode, the sample barcode includes information about the type of dilution required (sample information including the weight of sample and dilution factor is also recorded giving improved traceability). When the sample barcode is scanned, the system automatically checks to see if the starting weight is within the predefined limits, selects the bottle of media to be used (if several are connected at the same time), makes the dilution and checks if the accuracy is correct. At the workstation the TraceA software package makes sure that all of the relevant data is stored automatically (date, time, analyst id, sample id, weight of sample, media batch number, weight added, and media). This data is then automatically exported to a server in an excel format. The next stage is testing. Every sample tested requires a Petri dish (apart from pathogen samples that are tested in a separate laboratory). Barcode labelling of each dish is an automated process performed by Kiestra s BarcodA system at an amazing speed of 1000 dishes per hour. Real time barcoding dramatically reduces the transcription error rates to only 1 in 36 trillion characters. Compare this to manual coding / reading / writing where there can be at least 1 error in 300 characters and the necessity for bar coding becomes obvious! BarcodA is a system that automatically places an optical barcode on all tubes, bottles and petri dishes. The barcode contains all of the important sample information like composition, sell-by date etc. With this barcode, every sample carrier is unique and recorded, resulting in full sample traceability for the laboratory. Faster, Easier, Better. Sample barcodes are then scanned at the pipetting bench with a barcode scanner. Autoscribe LIMS then sends the tests associated with the particular sample to the BarcodA so that the Petri dishes can be labelled with a barcode specific for each test. The technician then instantly receives the right set of test plates per sample. After pipetting the sample into the Petri dishes, the Kiestra AgarrA module comes into action. AgarrA is used for automatic agar pouring, mixing, solidifying and stacking. This system automatically scans the barcode on each dish and pours the plate with the correct molten media for the test, after which mixing, solidifying, and stacking takes place. AgarrA enables users to save 30% of agar costs each day, thanks to the exact dosing system. CSFoodV2 Page 3 of 6

4 Customer created configuration changes supported by Autoscribe at no extra cost. Automated Agar plate preparation with AgarrA Matrix LIMS may be tailored to fully meet customer requirements without any custom coding or use of scripting languages. During the whole process, checks can be made at each step to determine if all of the required samples have passed the required step before proceeding to the next step. This ensures that all the necessary steps in the process are completed. Based upon this principle Matrix LIMS at Westward Labs automatically generates complete daily audit trails for every sample. This provides an excellent management reporting tool for Westward Laboratories. Increased efficiency, throughput, traceability and quality Kiestra s concept for laboratory automation is that It s the sample that moves!. Westward is able to process more samples in a shorter time window by adopting this concept, creating a substantial increase in efficiency and throughput. With real time interaction with Autoscribe s Matrix LIMS, Westward is sure that all samples are processed as they should be and that they are fully audit trailed and traceable to meet the increasing demands of their customers and regulatory authorities. Reducing the Customer s Hassle Factor Matrix LIMS enables users to modify existing reports or to create new ones. This is used extensively at Westward to reduce the hassle factor for customers by producing whatever reports / data analysis and interpretation that they require such as daily, weekly and monthly retailer reports. These can be configured to precisely meet the customer s needs. CSFoodV2 Page 4 of 6

5 We have used Matrix LIMS through major upgrades and benefited hugely from config changes that have been made. About Autoscribe Example of an Environmental Swab Test Report Autoscribe Limited is a world leader in the development and supply of configurable systems for the Scientific Laboratory and Business markets. Autoscribe pioneered the use of innovative configuration tools within the LIMS market and today our Matrix Gemini LIMS software is seen as an industry standard. Autoscribe offers a wide portfolio of products and services including systems for LIMS, sample tracking, instrument calibration and maintenance, stability testing, customer complaints management, support management, training records management and resource planning. Founded in 1981, Autoscribe is a privately owned UK company. Worldwide we are represented by a network of business partners in regions including the USA, Canada, Europe, Indonesia & South East Asia, India, Pakistan, Australia, Kenya, South Africa and Brazil. Our organisation includes a dedicated team of developers, technical support specialists and sales & marketing professionals. Our customers include leading analytical, oil, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, nuclear, water, biotechnology, food and consumer products companies as well as academic research institutes, hospitals and many others. About Samworth Brothers and Westward Laboratories This is genuine configurability. Samworth Brothers is a family run business that make a wide range of quality food that they are proud to take home and share with their family and friends. Chilled foods are prepared in wellinvested sites that give their staff the facilities and environment to produce food to the highest quality and food safety standards. Each of the sites are run as autonomous businesses in order to respond as quickly as possible to customers' needs, with each business linked by their common culture of 'People, Quality, Profit'. This allows the people closest to the customer to make important decisions speedily and accurately, so that all of their people can directly influence the performance of their business. CSFoodV2 Page 5 of 6

6 Westward Laboratories was established in July 1992 following the Food Safety Act of 1990 which required food manufacturers to monitor their processes, practices and finished products. The company rapidly grew into one of the UK's premier independent food testing laboratories. Having been accredited by UKAS since 1997, Westward Laboratories also is accredited to international level and now holds the ISO17025 standard, assessed by the UK Accreditation Service. The scope covers testing in numerous microbiology methods for Food and Environmental Analysis. Judges Special Oxoid Award to Westward A Judges Special Award was made to Westward Laboratories in 2008, previous winners of the Oxoid Food Safety Team of the Year Award, for their continued contribution to food safety. The system can be used in different departments within a company e.g. Research & QC. Amongst the recent initiatives undertaken by Westward, the judges cited the laboratory s willingness to promote food safety issues to local community, by involvement with young farmers groups and local colleges, as being worthy of special recognition. Matrix Gemini can be precisely configured to meet user and business The Oxoid Awards are organised in conjunction with International Food Hygiene magazine and the Institute of Brewing & Distilling, and recognise the essential work undertaken by laboratories, QA/QC professionals and all those involved in product safety, quality and hygiene in the food and beverage industries. Further enquiries please quote reference MLFI001: and contact us at: Autoscribe Limited, Wellington House, Riseley Business Park, Basingstoke Road, Riseley, Berkshire, RG7 1NW. Tel: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Website: CSFoodV2 Page 6 of 6

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