Cobb Europe announced Feb. 8 that its newly opened laboratory facility in Norfolk, England, has been accredited with the latest ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standard, making it one of the first laboratories in the United Kingdom to receive this recognition. This standard specifies the general requirements for the competence, impartiality and consistent operation of laboratories across the globe, signifying that a facility produces valid and reliable results that can be trusted across countries.

The new edition of the standard was released in November 2017 to encompass the activities of modern laboratories and new ways of working at them, including technical, terminology and scope changes. Cobb Europe set a goal to achieve this standard by November 2020, but the team, led by Cobb Europe quality control center manager Gemma Walker, achieved it one and a half years early.

“Being accredited to this new standard reflects the hard work, focus and passion we see in our team,” said John Vincent, director of quality assurance. “We are very proud of being the leader in technology, investing in our future and the standards we work to.”

To achieve this standard by their target date, Walker and her team reviewed all internal policies and processes to look for optimizations. The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) audited the facility against the standard in September 2018.

“It was truly a team effort, and I’m so pleased that we are one of the first labs in the nation to meet this updated standard,” said Walker. “This accreditation is critical in our line of work because we must meet the appropriate UKAS standards for specific tests so our results can be used to prove birds’ health status in both national control programs and for Export Health Certificates.”

The Norfolk County facility conducts all routine health screenings of company stock in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, where permitted by national requirements. The lab is currently an accredited testing center for mycoplasma, salmonella, infectious laryngotracheitis and avian influenza. The team is also responsible for all internal serological screenings, hygiene monitoring and antimicrobial resistance control programs, and has cell culture technology.