Shuster Laboratories Introduces Global Sourcing Quality Management(TM) Program

Canton, MA, June 28, 2007 – Shuster Laboratories, an STR Group Company, today announced the introduction of a new Global Sourcing Quality Management(TM) (GSQM) program for companies that source food or dietary supplement ingredients/products in China or other offshore locations. The GSQM program will help U.S. companies –manufacturers, suppliers, retailers, and food service operators – that want to ensure the highest level of confidence in their food or dietary supplement ingredients, products, and systems.

“Recent quality and safety issues with products sourced in China have amplified concern among the industry and consumers. If a food or dietary supplement company is buying ingredients overseas, directly or through an agent, then they must have a program in place to ensure product quality and safety at all critical points in the supply chain,” said Dr. Kaveh Afshar, Chief Operating Officer of Shuster Laboratories.

Shuster’s Global Sourcing Quality Management program includes:

€ Gap Analysis – A gap analysis is conducted to identify possible risks in a company’s supply chain. The analysis includes supplier evaluation and qualification; product and ingredient evaluation; identification of sampling plan; assessment of cGMP compliance and HACCP plan: and identification of current accreditations, certifications, and registrations.

- Product/Ingredient Testing – Analytical, microbiological, and pesticide screening to identify suspected products.

- Plant/Facility/Factory Audits – Implementation of an inspection and auditing program to assess and monitor quality systems management.

- Sourcing/Traceability Programs – Development of a comprehensive farm-to-table sourcing and traceability program allows companies to manage sourcing risks.

- HACCP Programs – Incorporation of HACCP into a company’s safety program can help reduce and manage risk.

- cGMP Programs – Assistance with implementing cGMPs throughout the manufacturing process.

Shuster has invested in a specialized testing laboratory at STR’s 30,000 s/f Shanghai, China laboratory to support its new GSQM program. STR, which is Shuster’s parent company, has had QA/QC laboratories in Shanghai and Shenzhen, China (40,000 s/f lab) since 2003 and employs over 500 professional/technical staff in China.

“The first critical step for companies is conducting a risk assessment. From there, they can build an effective safety program to ensure that the quality and safety requirements for sourced ingredients and products are consistently being met. Relying on vendor certificates of analysis or reputation is not adequate,” said Dr. Afshar. “With a gap analysis, we can figure out what needs to be done and develop a plan that is cost effective. Whatever the outcome, the cost of not evaluating your company’s risk is higher than identifying potential problems and fixing them.”

Shuster Laboratories, a Specialized Technology Resources (STR) company, is an independent provider of quality assurance testing, product development, and supply chain support services for a cross section of consumer product industries, including food and dietary supplements. STR, a privately held, U.S. owned company, is strategically located throughout the world in over 30 countries and on five continents. The STR Group Companies provide testing, audit, inspection, and responsible sourcing services and help ensure that clients have the highest level of confidence in the quality, safety, and social standards of their products and systems.

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