blog header image for the first blog post for UKAS accredited lab Melbec Microbiology

Welcome to UKAS Accredited (8615) Lab Melbec Microbiology

By Nigel Mellors
In June 26, 2018
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Hello and welcome to the very first blog post from UKAS accredited (8615) lab, Melbec Microbiology. Over the coming months, we will be posting a series of blogs discussing an interesting range of topics, such as cosmetic product testing, what antimicrobial finishes are, and anything else micro related!

For our first blog post, we thought we would tell you a little bit more about Melbec, who we are, what UKAS is and why our status as a UKAS laboratory is important. Let’s get stuck in!

 

Who are Melbec Microbiology?

 

Established in 2013 by Dawn Mellors, Melbec Microbiology is a contract lab specialising in microbiology and research; particularly in the areas of cosmetics and textiles.

picture illustrates a blog post by UKAS accredited lab Melbec Microbiology and shows a hand holding stack of petri dishes filled with agar

Dawn has over 25 years in the industry, so it seemed a natural progression to open her own laboratory. A professional laboratory who are reliable and have all the same indicators of quality as much bigger labs but who are also friendly and can offer a personal feeling level of service.

That approach seems to be working well so far! For a smallish, Lancashire test lab we have had great customer feedback and were delighted to have been awarded the Microbusiness of the Year Award at the Rossendale Business Awards back in 2015.

Our biggest achievement of course, and the most important was securing UKAS accreditation just 14 months after opening. More on that later though…

We are a growing team, who together, have over 100 years of combined experience, covering personal care products, cosmetics, biocidal products, manufacturing, clinical, medical device and research-based microbiology.

 

Microbiology?

 

Our team are passionate about all things microbiology related, but for the uninitiated amongst you let’s start with the basics; what is microbiology?

Simply put, microbiology is the study of living organisms that we can’t see with the naked eye! These organisms are collectively known as ‘microbes’ and include bacteria, archaea, viruses, fungi, prions, protozoa and algae.

Often associated with food poisoning or illness, plenty of these microbes are essential for human life and are beneficial. However, we tend to look for and deal with ones that might not be so helpful to humans!

Microbiology has quite a fascinating history; humans have known for a long time that that things ‘smaller than the eye could see’ have existed but proving it was another matter. Scientific and medical microbiology was not developed until the 19th century through the work of two men called Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch; both who are considered ‘fathers of microbiology’.

There is far too much rich history and interesting stories to fit into a paragraph so keep your eye on our blog for a future post about the history of microbiology. If you can’t wait to read more, the Microbiology Society is a good place to have a look!

 

UKAS Accredited (8615) Lab

 

picture illustrates a blog post by UKAS accredited lab Melbec Microbiology and shows the logo of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, UKAS

As mentioned, we were delighted to have achieved our UKAS accreditation not long after we established ourselves but who are UKAS? And why is an accreditation so important?

The United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) is the only national accreditation body recognised by the government to assess the competence of organisations that provide certification, testing and calibration services. Every major contract laboratory in the UK will hold a UKAS accreditation not only to help with their own processes but to reassure customers and give them confidence in the results we produce.

Why is it important to use a UKAS accredited lab?

We are accredited to ISO 17025, which is the main standard used by all testing laboratories. Holding this UKAS accreditation means that we have demonstrated our competence, impartiality and reliability when it comes to delivering test results.

The testing standards of UKAS are incredibly high and preparing to achieve the standard involved a lot of hard work from our entire team. We continually strive to ensure our facility, methods and team are up to the standard as it isn’t a one-time achievement. UKAS accreditations are not given out for life and we have regular audits to endure we keep our standards in line.

 

Microbiology Tests and Services We Offer

 

There are plpicture illustrates a blog post by UKAS accredited lab Melbec Microbiology and shows a group of petri dishes and a pipetteenty of Microbiology laboratories in the UK, some of the big firms test everything and have huge facilities. We are a little more specialised and concentrate on a few specific areas. Our main areas of expertise are cosmetics, personal care, biocidal products (including textiles, wipes, etc.) and antimicrobial wound dressings.

Cosmetic product testing is made up of several areas; we offer batch release testing (where we test each batch of product for sterility), stability assessment and challenge tests. All important tests for anyone manufacturing cosmetic products.

Biocidal product testing is another service we offer. Biocides are cleaning products that claim to eradicate bacteria – we can test these products to ensure that they do what they say on the tin!

Another area we specialise in is services for the healthcare sector, we have recently seen a demand for the evaluation of bactericidal and yeasticidal activity on wipes. You can read more about it here.

We also offer a range of textile testing services in our UKAS accredited lab. These tests help support marketing claims on antimicrobial textiles and finishes, including carpets.

 

Laboratory Testing Lancashire

 

Well, there you have it – our first blog post. We hope you feel like you know us a little bit better, what we stand for, and what services we offer.

Our UKAS accredited (8615) lab is based in the lovely Rossendale, Lancashire but we have clients from all over the UK and are looking forward to meeting more of you.

If you are looking for any of the services mentioned, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact page or send us an email at info@melbecmicrobiology.co.uk.

If you prefer to speak over the phone, give us a call on 01706 214 492.