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Microbiological measurement uncertainty new guide from CCFRA
A new guide from CCFRA will help microbiologists to assess the reliability of results from microbiological analyses – of food, raw materials, ingredients and environmental samples.
No measurement is perfect – it has associated uncertainty arising from many factors. Understanding this uncertainty – its extent, how it arises and how contributing factors affect it – is essential for the correct interpretation of a result. Consequently, ISO 17025 requires laboratories to have and apply procedures for estimating uncertainty of measurement, but until now there has been little guidance for microbiologists on how to do this.
Microbiological measurement uncertainty: a practical guide (CCFRA Guideline No. 47) addresses this. It is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to the measurement of uncertainty in microbiological analysis, produced by a group of industrial microbiologists and data analysts. With a strong emphasis on practical day-to-day application, the guide includes a spreadsheet to perform the necessary mathematics and specifically addresses the ISO 17025 requirements to identify and estimate all components of uncertainty. Importantly, many laboratories will find they do not need to conduct extra analyses or generate additional data to make use of the procedures as the approach makes optimum use of data generated during routine internal and external laboratory quality assurance.