Join us for our next webinar.

Our webinars provide opportunities to stay informed of the ever-changing requirements and regulations that your business may experience. The most current webinars are below, but we are always working on ways to provide new and improved topics of interest.

Don’t see what you are looking for? Let us know what topics you would like us to consider for our next webinar series.

Introduction to Microbiology: Principles and Applications to Food Safety

March 28, 2023, 1pm-2pm EST

This webinar is an Introduction to Microbiology for entry level professionals in a laboratory or food processing facility or a non-microbiologist that would like to better understand microorganisms and how they relate to food safety. Our instructor will review the history of microbiology with an overview of microorganisms, their differences and how they relate to food safety and consumer health along with testing overview.

Key takeaways:
• Understand the difference between microorganisms
• Understand how biochemical processes affect where microorganisms are found and how they are detected
• Comprehend the difference between pathogenic/hygiene indicator organisms vs. spoilage organisms
• Learn how to request testing based on these differences

Audience: Entry level professionals in a laboratory, quality or food processing environment; non-microbiologists interested in basics of food microbiology

Course Length: 1hr

Instructor: Rachel Spearry, NQAC Dublin

Analytical Testing Trends: Chemical Contaminants in Foods

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

Presented by: Heather Rice (EtO), Chemist and Ashley Griffin (PFAS), Chemist at NQAC Dublin

Course Length: 1hr total including 15 min Q&A at the end

Part One: Ethylene Oxide

The incidence of ethylene oxide (EtO) contamination in food ingredients has been highly impactful to the food and beverage industry and has led to the largest food recall operation in EU history. We will provide a brief overview on ethylene oxide and its uses, discuss recent EtO incidents and recalls, outline regulations surrounding EtO in the EU and US, and introduce the EtO testing offered by NQAC Dublin.

Key takeaways:

  • Overview of ethylene oxide including risk assessment and food safety regulations in the US and EU
  • Main uses and applications of ethylene oxide
  • The recent impact of EtO in the food industry, including major recalls and incidents
  • Different ways to analyze EO, examining the analytical testing methodology and matrix scope provided by NQAC Dublin

Audience: Food and Beverage Manufacturers


Part Two: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

First, we will explore what these compounds are, where they are found in the food chain, and why we should test for them. We will then discuss the analytical techniques used as well as some challenges/complexities found in PFAS analysis.

Key takeaways:

  • Overview of PFAS and where they are commonly found in our environment
  • Why we test for them: EU & EPA regulations and risk assessments
  • Review of analytical techniques used for PFAS analysis
  • Explore some of the unique challenges in testing and strategies used to overcome these challenges to provide accurate data

Audience: Food manufacturers/ producers as well as analytical scientists looking to learn more about the technical strategies used in analyzing PFAS

Quantitative Analysis of Vicine and Convicine in Plant-Based Protein Products

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

Our expert will discuss the methodology behind and the need for the quantitation of vicine and convicine, two compounds found primarily in fava beans. These compounds can pose a food safety risk in certain individuals and should be considered when using fava beans in plant-based protein products.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the risk of vicine and convicine in individuals with a deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • Understand the basic principles of the method and how it can be used to analyze samples for vicine and convicine
  • Method compatibility with specific products and ingredients

Audience: Food and Beverage Manufacturers, Nutritional Label Specialists, R&D Specialists, Quality Assurance and Food Safety Managers

Course Length: 1 hour

Instructors: Erik Brammer, Chemist at NQAC Dublin

Nutritional Labelling and Method Selection: Selecting the Best Test for Your Needs

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

Our experts will discuss method selection and testing options for nutritional label claim while providing more in-depth information on method compatibility for specific fiber and vitamin ingredients. This webinar will also discuss what methods the FDA can and may use to inspect factory label claims.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the impact of method selection on label claims
  • Method compatibility/incompatibility of specific fiber ingredients
  • Method compatibility/incompatibility of specific vitamins ingredients
  • Learn the criteria FDA uses when selecting a method to verify a label claim

Audience: Food and Beverage Manufacturers, Nutritional Label Specialists, R&D Specialists, Quality Assurance and Food Safety Managers


Course Length: 1hr

Instructors: Jacob Snider, Chemist and Justin Rich, Chemist at NQAC Dublin

Microbial Challenge Studies Overview

ON DEMAND: Recorded Previously

Challenge studies are a valuable way to determine whether a specific food requires time-temperature controls for safety or is suitably formulated.  Various challenge studies such as shelf life, process, product, growth, and inactivation studies can be used to do this.  This webinar will discuss the reasons and needs for the different types of studies, and when best to perform each kind.



Target Audience:

  • Food Product developers
  • Factory or Laboratory Quality Technicians and Specialists


Learning Objectives:

  • Knowing why and when a Challenge Study is necessary
  • Differences between a Shelf life study and a Challenge study
  • Different types of challenge studies and what type is best for different situations
  • How we perform Challenge studies at NQAC


Course Length: 1 hour 

Instructors: Edith Zambrana-Santos, Sr. Microbiologist and Ryan Hartpence, Sr. Microbiologist, NQAC Dublin

Environmental Monitoring: Next Steps

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

The strategic application of an environmental monitoring program (EMP) gives valuable insight into the hygienic state of a facility. It verifies that good manufacturing processes and pre-requisite programs work as intended.  When done well, an EMP recognizes when line health or the manufacturing environment begins to stray.  Often, associates are unsure of how to use root cause analysis (RCA), apply investigational sampling techniques, and drive sustainable actions for mitigating the source of contamination.

This webinar discusses an efficient approach, using real scenarios, for leading investigations when out-of-specification (OOS) quantitative and qualitative microbiological results occur in your facility.


Target Audience:

  • Factory or Laboratory Quality Technicians and Specialists


Learning Objectives:

  • Using a corrective action process for OOS EMP results
  • Creating an investigational plan
  • Tools for managing an RCA
  • Driving sustainable actions and collaboration


Course Length: 1 hour 

Instructor: Andrea Chmelar, Microbiology Operations Supervisor, NQAC Dublin

Andrea Chmelar is a Microbiology Supervisor and Environmental Monitoring Specialist at Nestle Quality Assurance Center and works directly with external factories to evaluate, improve, and design customized and effective Environmental Monitoring (EM) Programs.  Before that, Andrea worked exclusively as a Microbiology Operations Supervisor, where she specialized in leadership development and Lean process improvements.  Andrea’s strength lies in empowering and enabling associates through training and development of EM to build a more positive and proactive food safety culture. When Andrea is not in the lab or a factory, which isn’t often because pathogens don’t take vacations, she enjoys traveling to scenic destinations.  In addition to her food science education, she is also a certified culinarian.

Veterinary Drug Testing in Food: Analytical Approaches, Challenges, and Pitfalls

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

Laboratory testing can offer critical information and peace of mind regarding the safety and compliance of your food, but the limits of testing can be overlooked or misinterpreted. Understanding how the test works and what the reported results tell you (and what they don’t) is an important step in identifying any blind spots that could lead to a false sense of security. Choosing the appropriate test, asking the right questions, and interpreting the report will help ensure the testing meets the needs of your business.

This webinar discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different analytical approaches for veterinary drugs in food and what the laboratory can and cannot assure you from the test result.


Target Audience:

  • Laboratory Staff and Quality Managers


Learning Objectives:

  • Technologies used in veterinary drug testing and what they bring to the table
  • Quantitative versus qualitative results
  • The importance of test validation for the food being tested
  • What questions to ask the laboratory to ensure the results will meet your needs


Course Length: 1 hour 

Instructor: Andrew Savage, Chemistry Operations Supervisor, NQAC Dublin

Foreign Body Materials: Management Principles and Root Cause Investigations

ON DEMAND: Recorded previously

While zero defects is the ultimate goal, nearly every food business will experience a foreign body incident at some point. Most businesses focus on microbiological hazards as they are the most well-known food safety risk, but foreign bodies also pose a risk and should not be ignored. While food manufacturers put controls in place to prevent foreign bodies from entering products, but even with safeguards in place consumers still find them on a frequent basis. A foreign body incident can have a huge impact on consumers and can even lead to product recalls.

This webinar discusses foreign body principles and introduces two fast and effective tools, FTIR and XRF, which are used to assist in the root-cause investigation and identification.

Key learning objectives:

  • Food safety impact of foreign bodies
  • Foreign body principles: build awareness, promote best practices and develop prevention plans
  • Analytical tools with a focus on XRF and FTIR to assist in root cause investigations
  • Real factory-level case study examples

Register to view the webinar on-demand!