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Paper audits important step in contract lab qualification — podcast

Contract supplement testing labs needs to be vetted in all aspects before they are chosen by a brand as a partner, according to GMP expert Tara Lin Couch.

Sandy Almendarez

September 25, 2019

Supplement brands should conduct paper audits—reviews of documentation and questionnaires—before they visit a potential contract lab partner in a person. Should red flags appear during the paper audit, the brand will know this lab isn’t the best partner, saving them the time and costs of an onsite inspection, notes Tara Lin Couch, Ph.D., senior director of dietary supplement and tobacco services, EAS Consulting Group LLC. In this podcast, Couch speaks about contract lab audits and requalification, as well as other ways to vet contract labs before partnering with them with Sandy Almendarez, editor in chief, Natural Products INSIDER. They cover:

  • The importance of contract labs in the supplement industry, and why audits are so critical

  • The best tactics for auditors to follow to ensure they are getting the whole story of the lab’s safety and compliance

  • The documents brands should ensure they have at all time, and those they can expect to get from their contract lab upon request

Couch is speaking on the SupplySide West workshop, “Trust in Testing: Contract Labs for Safe, Compliant Supplements” on Thursday, Oct. 17 at 2 to 4 p.m. This session is underwritten by American Testing Lab, Eurofins Scientific, Micro Quality Labs Inc. and New Jersey Labs.

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


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