COVID-19 Pandemic Planning and Actions Update

Mar. 23 2020

Like everyone in Australia and the broader global community, we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.  We are facing challenges the world hasn’t seen before and as the situation evolves each day our newly formed COVID-19 Task Force are reviewing measures being taken based on the advice from the World Health Organisation and other government authorities.

As DTS Food Assurance continues to evolve its Business Continuity Plan (BCP) a range of actions under this plan will be implemented by Monday 23rd March 2020, helping to ensure the health and safety of our people, our clients and the wider community. These plans are summarised below:

DTS BCP is activated and a COVID-19 Task Force established

The COVID-19 Task Force has been communicating daily; reviewing the latest information available, and assigning implementing business changes as required. The team comprises of the full Executive Leadership Team, National Operational Managers and key representatives across the business.

Laboratory Operations

Designated split shifts, and full physical separation of shifts across all Victorian operations has commenced.

Other measures have also been activated such as; strict segregation and quarantine measures between laboratories, isolation of sample delivery points, segregated staff entry/exit points, restricted access of non-production staff and non-essential external service providers, along with enhanced hygiene protocols and staff screening.

Our regional laboratories have also reviewed their operations to ensure segregation of staff, along with the implementation of the above measures.

Staff and Personnel

Advanced succession and contingency plans for technical staff and managerial personnel have been enacted. This ensures we provide maximum support to our operations, so we are able to continue to deliver testing services whilst protecting our teams.

Inventory and consumables

DTS Food Assurance has been in constant and close contact with our key suppliers to guarantee a continuity of provisions for testing. At this time, our suppliers have not expressed a major concern for critical supply, however we have enacted the following: full review of current/future stock level requirements, activation of our secondary and tertiary suppliers, and increased consumable inventory holdings.

Service Delivery

The activation of fully segregated split shift throughout DTS Food Assurances largest laboratory in the group is a significant change to our operational model and requires flattening of our workflows and procedures. Modelling has shown there should be minimum impact to service delivery, and test turnaround times, as detailed below. This change has been instigated taking into consideration the health and wellbeing of our people, our customers and partners; and to help ensure we maximise the continuity of our critical food safety service during these unprecedented times.

They don’t change our commitment to your business or our valued partnership.

Impact Summary to Test Turnaround Times

Department Testing Group Suggested Impact Other Comments
Minimum Maximum
Microbiology Pathogens No change + 24hrs  
Quality Indicators No change + 24hrs  
Chemistry Nutritionals No change Restricted Emergency Testing
Instrumental No change
Physicals No change
MAS Compositional No change + 8hrs  
Quality No change + 8hrs  
GMO / Allergens GMO / Allergens No change  
Regional DTS Laboratories   No change Applicable to QLD, NSW and WA

We understand the critical services DTS Food Assurance provides and every effort is being made to provide continuity of service to our clients. We will be continuously monitoring the situation as it evolves and will adjust our plans and actions accordingly.

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us or your usual point of contact within. We will be in direct communication again if we believe there are material changes.