Safety Testing

As an importer and manufacturer of food products, quality assurance testing is of paramount importance. Our in-house team of 8 Tea Tasters, our suppliers and partners all regularly conduct thorough testing of all products.

All teas and herbal teas are routinely tested and screened for hazardous foreign materials.

Standards testing
  • All Sri Lankan teas are tested by 3rd party laboratories.
  • All Chinese and Taiwanese teas are tested according to stringent EU standards.
  • All African and Indian teas are routinely tested according to EU standards.
  • All accessories including our 18/8 grade stainless steel, plastic, and cast iron products are tested according to USFDA approved levels.

Pre-shipment testing
Before our shipping department will accept any shipment of a food product, our team of Tea Tasters screens pre-shipment samples for contaminants. If any hazardous foreign material is found, the shipment is refused.

Arrival samples
Upon arrival of all shipments to our facilities, arrival samples are tested to ensure a match with the approved pre-shipment sample. If any hazardous material is discovered, the tea is destroyed and further imports from the supplier placed on our “close scrutiny” list. Any manufacturer found misrepresenting shipments will be dropped from our supplier list.

Hourly production samples
Testing Hourly Production Samples on our manufacturing floor ensures that all teas are free from any possible contamination within our facility.

Mock recalls
As part of our food safety program, Mock Recalls are staged every 6 months.

HOW DO WE TEST OUR PRODUCTS?
Here is an example of a recent test on the quality and safety of stainless steel infusers from a potentially new supplier. These were offered at a considerable discount per unit over those of our current and trusted supplier. Naturally we were intrigued. Who doesn’t like to save money right?

Before placing an order, we spoke to our current supplier to ask about the price. They assured us that for the price their competitor was offering, there was no way these infusers were 18/8 Stainless Steel, the USFDA approved grade for food service. Ok we said, prove it.

1. Two infusers, one from our approved supplier and one from the potential supplier, were placed in a solution of water and 5% cooking salt. The bowl on the left is our approved infuser.


2. Both infusers were checked hourly for 3 hours.

FINDINGS:
After the first hour, the water holding our approved infuser was still crystal clear. The water holding the new infuser had begun turning brown from rust contamination.

Testing tea strainer for approval

After 2 hours, the water holding our approved infuser was still crystal clear. The water holding the new infuser had now become so dark it was difficult to see through.

Approved tea strainer with crystal clear water

After 3 hours, the water holding our approved infuser was still crystal clear. In the bottom of the bowl containing the new infuser, an as of yet unidentified substance had accumulated as the result of the inferior steel’s chemical breakdown.

Failed tea strainer with murky water

Does that look like something you’d like to put in your tea?
We didn’t think so either. It became clear that passing on a cost savings to our customers would have also meant passing on a potentially hazardous product that may have contributed to rust poisoning.

END RESULT:
The stainless steel was not USFDA approved 18/8 grade and the new supplier was not approved. Testing works. (Something to keep in mind the next time you’re perusing a dollar store!)

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