EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan has officially opened the new Advanced Laboratory Testing Ltd (ALT) facility located in Newbridge, Industrial Park in Co. Kildare.

Established in 2013 and having created employment for 50 staff in the past 18 months, ALT plans to double this number during 2015.

ALT Ltd is a 100% Irish-owned company and is an analytical testing service provider utilising diagnostic techniques to the food industry.

According to the company, it is Ireland’s fastest growing laboratory currently offering accredited microbiology, environmental chemistry, food chemistry and veterinary testing services.

A new major extension in 2014 added in excess of 3,500 square feet to its testing facility and doubled the size of the existing laboratory capacity.

It remains at present the only commercial laboratory in Ireland offering PCR based rapid testing solutions for Salmonella species and Listeria species which allow for results within 24 hours.

Billy Coleman of ALT said the company is currently embarking on a major expansion programme with a view to increasing ALT’s accredited service offering across the analysis spectrum to include PCR, Environmental Chemistry and a significantly enhanced Food Chemistry service offering.

“This will allow the Irish food industry to use an Irish-based commercial laboratory service provider to assist in complying with new EU labeling regulations which came into force in December 2014.

“This will result in significantly improved turnaround times for customers in Ireland and will lessen the need for Irish companies to use subcontract labs in the UK and mainland Europe.”