Listeria in Blue Bell Ice Cream

listeria in ice creamThis is a sad situation.

Anytime bacteria causes sickness and death is a sad day in our country.

Companies try and take major steps to assure this type of issue does not occur.


The company traced the bacterial strand to two factories.

Blue Bell has recalled all of its product in the market this week.

Food safety is a top concern of all food producers and over the years, many food producers have taken major steps to insure the ingredients and product line are clean and prestine when it comes to fighting the presence of bacteria.

Everyday at Midwest Laboratories, we analyze products, ingredients, water and swabbing of process lines for different stands of bacteria.

It is a very serious battle and one that needs immediate attention if even the slightest growth of bacteria is present.

Picture Source: Flickr

Grid Sampling Made Easy

Check out this video regarding grid sampling.soil sampling

It talks about what grid sampling consists of and gives the proper perspective on what it takes to pull a representative soil sample.

Zone or grid sampling is the first part of getting soil analysis data to determine what type of fertility recommendations to make.

Picture Source: JMC

Frugal Container Gardening

Frugal Container GardeningCheck out this video and learn how one grower has found a way to create a unique container garden which is easy to setup. It might give you some ideas for your own garden project.

I enjoy this grower’s passion for organic gardening and he really gives a lot of great advice for growing your own home garden.

If you are considering a garden in your backyard, you might think about getting the soil tested, (Lawn and Garden Test) to determine what type of nutrients are available in the ground.

Picture Souce: Flickr

Farmers Racing Against Time

Corn PlantingThe race is on to get into the field and begin planting.

Check out this news report that looks at the corn planting situation in 2015. It is time to get into the field before the fields get too wet. Typically, corn is planted first in late April followed by soybeans which are planted the first part of May.

Good luck to all the growers out there who are trying to get planting started and completed in the next few weeks.

Check out this video of what planting looks like. The process has become very sophisticated and most growers make it look very easy.

Picture Source: Flickr Creative Commons

Shelf Life Testing

Shelf Life Testing

Shelf Life Testing

Are you trying to make decisions regarding your packaging?

How long your product can sit on the shelf?

Do you need this information soon and cannot wait several months to find out what type of results you will get?

Consdider inquiring about Shelf Life Testing at Midwest Laboratories.

At Midwest Laboratories these type of questions can be answered by working with  our laboratory staff to setup a plan that is tailored to answer question you have about your product and how long it can remain stable without spoiling.

Two years ago, our shelf life testing analysis was integrated with a new computer information system that captures clients’ needs and helps schedule tasks related to periodic bacteria analysis and palpability of the sample. In addition, the analysis can be accelerated to obtain a “use by date”  for producers to incorporate into their own quality management system.



Soil Temps and Safe Planting

Soil Temperatures

Everyone keeps looking up at the sky for the weather, but the real key to temperatures is looking at the soil.

This video looks at what can happen if you plant too early and the soil temperature drops.

Pay close attention to what happens to the seed, itself. It is a very informative video.

Picture Source: Flickr