Book:LIMS Selection Guide for Food Safety and Quality/Closing remarks

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6. Closing remarks

FDA Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) 6565 (8754816839).jpg

The food and beverage industry is similar to other industries in that a product is grown, developed, or processed and distributed to consumers who desire the product. However, the food and beverage industry is, well, vital to humanity, just as the agriculture industry is: we need safe, quality foods and beverages to maintain our existence. The focus on safety and quality was not always there, but with expanding scientific understanding and a realization that contaminated food and water systems were killing people, standards and regulations came into existence. With those standards and regulations came the necessary enforcement bodies, like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety Commission of Japan. And from that came the need for laboratory analyses to better meet those standards and regulations. As the food and beverage system became more complex, a need for more automated computer systems became apparent, and solutions like the laboratory information management system (LIMS) and laboratory execution system (LES) began filling the gaps.

Today, the LIMS and other informatics solutions are increasingly important to food and beverage producers, as well as safety inspectors and third-party labs serving the industry. However, a generic LIMS won't do. This guide has highlighted that fact and identified what base and specialty characteristics such a LIMS requires in order for food and beverage labs to gain the strongest advantage in meeting their safety and quality goals. But selecting a LIMS isn't only about having the best features; concerns about cybersecurity, regulatory compliance, system flexibility, and cost, as well as a need for a robust user requirements specification (URS) must be addressed. Various chapters of this guide have addressed these concerns and needs, while also offering a well-researched, robust URS in the form of LIMSpec to food and beverage laboratories seeking a LIMS. Built on more than 130 standards, regulations, and guidance documents, the LIMSpec for food and beverage labs gives prospective LIMS buyers an additional tool in their search for a LIMS to improve the food safety and quality goals of their organization.

Finally, this guide has provided other helpful resources towards LIMS selection, including a list of LIMS vendors and consultants, as well as related professional associations and trade events that may provide further insight into the industry and its demands. Other aspects such as maintenance, support, and warranty (MSW); requests for information (RFIs); and the software demonstration have been addressed, rounding out this guide's goal of helping you select the best LIMS for your food and beverage lab.


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Citation information for this chapter

Chapter: 6. Closing remarks

Title: LIMS Selection Guide for Food Safety and Quality

Edition: First Edition

Author for citation: Shawn E. Douglas

License for content: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Publication date: January 2023