About us

Coronavirus (COVID-19) & food test kit manufacture

In the difficult and extraordinary times of a Coronavirus pandemic, Bio-Check (UK) would like to reassure its customers, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders that we are continually reviewing – in line with WHO, NHS and UK Government advice – and escalating the measures we take to mitigate the adverse impact of the effects of the virus.

The UK Coronavirus Act 2020, which received Royal Assent on 25th March, provides the UK Government with the emergency powers it needs to tackle the further spread of the virus. In this Act, the key workers list includes all those who are involved with the provision of key goods necessary for the manufacture and supply of food. Bio-Check (UK) is naturally pleased to play its part, ensuring that its food testing kits (e.g. for detection of gluten, food allergens, mycotoxins) continue to be available to help food manufacturers provide all of us – especially the vulnerable – with safe food of the stated quality.

We urge all existing and potential users of our test kits to discuss their changing requirements with us over the course of this outbreak; by doing so, Bio-Check can better ensure the continuity of supplies for all.

If you need more information about our products and the stocks available, please contact us info@biocheck.uk.

By heeding the medical and behavioural (social distancing) advice being provided by the NHS and UK Government, you, your colleagues, families, friends and neighbours will have the best chance of keeping safe and well.

Contract Manufacture of LFDs

Bio-Check (UK) develops and manufactures a range of rapid “on-site/point of care” tests (lateral flow devices) including for the detection of disease antibodies in blood. We have an on-farm test for antibodies to cattle/sheep liver flukes and, more pertinently, several tests to detect very low levels of human (IgE) antibodies indicative of allergic/anaphylactic reactions. Importantly, we manufacture device components that are CE marked for home use as well as doctors; the device uses tiny quantities of whole, finger-prick blood, removes the problem of “prozoning” (high dose hook; overloading) by non-specific antibodies; test results are available in a few minutes. Bio-Check’s management team has many decades of experience in the fields of in vitro diagnostic testing for medical diagnostics and research, pharmaceutical analysis and food testing applications. Our Quality Management System is ISO9001:2015 certified.

Please contact us to discuss your plans info@biocheck.uk

Posted in About us

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Briefing note

  • This information is compiled from online sources accessed on 31-March-2020:
  • A new strain of virus is causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in humans. The new SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV), called SARS-CoV-2, from the Coronaviridae family of viruses that primarily infect birds and mammals, is a positive-strand RNA virus. It was first discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China, and sequenced and isolated in January 2020. The resulting outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has caused the coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is not the same as an influenza virus, it belongs to a different family of RNA viruses. COVID-19 and influenza, both cause respiratory illnesses spread from person to person through tiny droplets containing the virus, during exhalation and in coughs and sneezes. The symptoms of the diseases have some important differences, including that SARS-CoV-2 spreads and potentially kills more readily. Globally, it has spread to be a pandemic (WHO, 11 March 2020). Unlike many respiratory viruses, it seems to infect both the upper and lower respiratory tract.
  • Food has not been identified as a likely source or route of transmission of the virus according to EFSA. The virus is spread through direct contact with respiratory droplets from an infected person, as described above. Furthermore, it is believed that the virus is sensitive to heat and that the typical temperature and time regimes of cooking to ensure food safety are sufficient to inactive the virus and reduce the risk.
  • Each spherical SARS-CoV-2 virus particle (about 80-90nm in size) consists of the RNA genome enclosed by a viral envelope, a lipid bilayer with structural proteins, including glycoprotein spikes that protrude from the particle surface to form a ‘corona’ or crown of spikes. The coronavirus spikes are known to play a key role in how it infects the host human cell. The viral envelope protects the virus when outside the host cell in the environment.
  • With aerial (direct) and surface (indirect) transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 has been reported by the New England Journal of Medicine to be more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surface, although the virus titre was greatly reduced. On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours. Results indicate that aerosol and indirect transmission by contaminated objects is plausible, since the virus can remain viable and infectious in aerosols for hours and on surfaces up to days (depending on the inoculum shed).
  • Although it is unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 is spread by contaminated food it is advisable to ensure social distancing in a food plant together with robust personal (e.g. frequent handwashing and not touching the face) and food safety hygiene during food preparation to prevent cross-contamination (e.g. by handling and objects) and to heat food to reduce the risk when appropriate. Washing hands is believed to be effective at inactivating the virus, because the soap or liquid detergent disrupts the lipid bilayer of the SARS-CoV-2 causing the virus particle to disintegrate and be easily rinsed away. Although there have been no studies on the effectiveness of formulated disinfectants against SARS-CoV-2 on food contact surfaces (following the important detergent cleaning and rinsing stages), those with an oxidising nature such as hypochlorite, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide are likely to be effective at an appropriate working concentration (please discuss with your cleaning chemical supplier).
  • Recently developed analytical methods for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in food and on food surfaces typically target at least two genes in the virus genome (e.g. coding for the envelope or the nucleocapsid). Following sampling and RNA extraction a sensitive Real-Time RT-PCR technique is employed for detection.

Please refer to the latest official guidance and peer reviewed references when formulating policy, practices and procedures on mitigating the risks posed by COVID-19. Some helpful references and hyperlinks are listed below:

References:
Walls et al., 2020 Structure, Function, and Antigenicity of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike Glycoprotein Cell online, open access 9 March 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.02.058

Van Doremalen et al., (2020) Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1 The New England Journal of Medicine, Letter to the Editor 17 March 2020 https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

Useful links:

ALNAP Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and treatment

BRC Coronavirus Support Hub

CIEH Coronavirus (COVID-19)

EFSA Novel Coronavirus: where to find information

European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention: Q&A on COVID-19

Food Drink Europe, Q&A COVID-19

Food Standards Scotland, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and food

IFST Update: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center: Global cases map

Public Health England, Guidance for food businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19)

UK Coronavirus Act 2020

UK Government, Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

WHO Health topics: Coronavirus

Posted in About us

Coronavirus

In the difficult and extraordinary times of a Coronavirus pandemic, Bio-Check (UK) would like to reassure its customers, staff, suppliers and other stakeholders that we are continually reviewing – in line with WHO, NHS and UK Government advice – and escalating the measures we take to mitigate the adverse impact developing as a result of the effects of the virus.

The UK Coronavirus Bill, which was announced on 18 March, will provide the UK Government with the emergency powers it needs to tackle the further spread of the virus. In this proposed bill, the key workers list includes all those who are involved with the provision of key goods necessary for the manufacture and supply of food. Bio-Check (UK) is naturally pleased to play its part, to ensure that its food testing kits (e.g. for detection of gluten, food allergens, mycotoxins) continue to be available to help food manufacturers provide all of us – especially the vulnerable – safe food of the stated quality.

We urge all existing and potential users of our test kits to discuss their changing requirements with us over the course of this outbreak; by doing so, Bio-Check can better ensure the continuity of supplies for all.

If you need more information about our products and the stocks available, please contact us info@biocheck.uk.

By heeding the medical and behavioural advice being provided by the NHS and UK Government, you, your colleagues, families, friends and neighbours will have the best chance of keeping safe and well.

Posted in About us

Christmas & New Year

Please note our Christmas & New Year holiday arrangements:

Our offices will be closed on:

  • 25th, 26th & 27th December and 1st January 2020

Our last day for despatch of Orders before Christmas will be:

  • Monday 16th December 2019 for International customers
  • Thursday 19th December 2019 for UK customers

Our office will re-open on Thursday 2nd January 2020

Despatch of all orders will begin again on Monday 6th January 2020

Enjoy your holidays and all the best for 2020 !

Posted in About us

Ready for BRC issue 8?

BRC i8Certification for issue 8 of the BRC Global Standard Food Safety starts from 1st February 2019. There are several new requirements (e.g. 1.1.2 food safety and quality culture plan) and a couple of new sections (e.g. section 8 production risk zones). Food Safety professionals are making improvements to satisfy the requirements of the standard and reviewing what objective evidence they can provide to support these requirements. This evidence will be needed for the third-party audit(s) and for internal audits which now need to be spread throughout the year with a minimum of 4 different dates (3.4.1). Sampling and testing will provide an important portion of the objective evidence necessary included in, for example: the Management of suppliers of raw materials (3.5.1), Traceability (3.9), Food Defence (4.2), Housekeeping and hygiene (4.11), Environmental monitoring (4.11.8), Management of Food Allergens (5.3) and Product Authenticity (5.4).  There is also a new requirement (5.6.2.5) that the significance of laboratory results should be understood and acted upon accordingly. All these changes are making the role of sampling and analysis more important, yet increasingly complex to understand especially with the new analytical technology. For example, recent advances in onsite testing and ‘next-generation’ sequencing are driving a paradigm shift towards increasing use of such tests to improve control and decision making in food manufacture.

Related products: onsite Allergen, Gluten and Raw Meat Species FlowThrough™ tests.

Posted in About us, Allergens, Gluten, Mycotoxins, Speciation

Preparations for BREXIT

BrexitParliament has decreed that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union on the 29th of March 2019.

Whilst the details surrounding the process are currently unclear, the impending departure will mean changes for us all.

Although Bio-Check (UK) develops and manufactures its products in the UK, we do obtain some supplies from overseas. Given the potential for customs checks to cause delays, we are temporarily increasing our stocks as a contingency.

If you intend to do the same with stocks of Bio-Check’s food testing kits, please do let us know without delay, so that we can make it possible to provide all our customers in these uncertain times.

 

Posted in About us

Protecting your data

legislation-3231548_960_720As I am sure you are aware, from 25th May the EU General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679; GDPR) gives you greater protection, rights and control over how your data is used. In response to this Regulation, Bio-Check (UK) would like to let you know how we are storing and using your data.

You do not need to do anything, other than read the information below.

We will:

  • Hold your data (e.g. contact details, purchasing history, product interests etc) securely.
  • Contact you when we believe there is a legitimate interest to do so (e.g. follow-up to orders and enquiries, updates to new products & services etc).
  • Not share your data with third parties. unless it is to fulfil services you have requested (e.g. provide shipping instructions to couriers).
  • If required, analyse your data to understand how we can continuously improve our services to you (e.g. in the context of customer satisfaction under our IS09001 accreditation).
  • Respect your preferences in respect of communications (e.g. remove you from our mailing list).

You can decide to stop us contacting you at any time, or ask us to amend your preferences, simply by informing us via info@biocheck.uk.

To understand more about the data we hold, control and use; please read our Privacy Policy

Posted in About us

Horizon scanning

MC900299701  Some of the information tweeted @BioCheckUK in May 2018:

  • Cattlemen’s petition would cause chaos in the market place
  • Clean meat: traditional animal agriculture has reached capacity
  • Food allergen management in takeaways
  • New fund for research into coeliac disease and gluten-free production
  • Australia and New Zealand new lupin labelling deadline approaches
  • Traceability goes paperless in digital evolution
  • Breakthrough in toxic grain
  • What is happening in ATP testing?
  • BRC Global Standards acquire Allergen Control Group Inc
  • BRC Global Food Safety Issue 8 is coming soon

 

Follow us on Twitter to receive timely information about food adulteration and food contaminant issues that could be important to your business.

Posted in About us, Allergens, Gluten, Mycotoxins

Easter holidays

easter eggOur offices will be closed on Friday 30th March (Good Friday) and Monday 2nd April (Easter Monday).

Customers are advised to ensure they have sufficient stocks of our test kits to cover this period.

Posted in About us

Horizon Scanning

MC900299701Some of the information tweeted @BioCheckUK in January:

 

 

 

 

  • Top 10 UK Food trends for 2018
  • FDA food recall process too slow
  • India’s FSSAI chief slams auditor’s report
  • Mycotoxin control in pet food
  • Two men appear in court over nut allergy death
  • Bugs may be causing a common crop mould to produce a deadly toxin
  • Food & drink recalls more than double in 2015/2016
  • Food Crime Unit needs up to £5m more to investigate fraud
  • 1 in 10 manufacturers? experienced high losses due to food fraud
  • 2018 is the year of NGS technology in food safety labs
  • A global perspective: the future of artificial intelligence
  • How does allergen dose impact on the severity of food-induced allergic reactions?
  • 2017 maize mycotoxin survey for Poland
  • Majority of labs pass mycotoxin proficiency tests
  • Meat crisis: Wetherspoon steak recall alert
  • Emerging pollutants: a growing concern for our oceans
  • FSA update on Russell Hume
  • The genetics of food allergy
  • Retailers and suppliers recall products due to allergens
  • China infant formula: safety rating hit 99.5% in 2017

 

Follow us on Twitter to receive timely information about food adulteration and food contaminant issues that could be important to your business.

 

 

Posted in About us

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