Internship at Swiss Quality Testing Services (SQTS)

Report of Martha Hanhindi

August 1st, 2014 – October 31st, 2014
Martha Hanhindi, Environmental Health and Safety student, Polytechnic of Namibia

You Tube Film über Martha Hanhindi

Im Moment nur in Englisch verfügbar

I had a great experience in SQTS. I first worked in the microbiology laboratory where I did the qualitative and quantitative microbiological analyses of food testing for bacteria such as Salmonella, E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter and Listeria. I was more familiar with the work in this laboratory because I had done much theory at school on food microbiology and this was a great exposure to the practical side of things.

Martha with Daniel Suter, Manager Laboratory Courtepin and Peggy Schuhmann, Director SQTS Switzerland

 …and with Microbiology Team

I also had the opportunity to do colony counts and learnt how to identify different bacteria on the plates. With the results I was able to compile a report for the client with comments on the results. I continued to the molecular biology laboratory where I had to carry out tests for allergens, genetically modified organisms and do Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR), a process used to amplify the amount of DNA.

busy in the laboratory

In the chemistry laboratory I had to do analyses in food samples of sugar, salts, fat, proteins, antibiotics, water and ash. I also had the opportunity to accompany the quality assurance officer on a hygiene inspection and an audit. I have learnt a lot that I believe will be very useful in my career as an Environmental Health Practitioner.

Martha with her host Amanda Blair and with Rosmarie and Hansjörg Balmer

Coming to Switzerland I was very nervous, not knowing what to expect from my host family. But I had an amazing host mom, who from the very first day, made me feel welcome and at home. She showed me around town, helped me get my train tickets and all, making my start very smooth and stress free. We did almost everything together, from cooking dinners, to visiting beautiful places in Switzerland. I felt secure and never at any point did I feel homesick. In September, when Amanda went on assignment in Namibia, I moved to family Balmer in Langenthal for three weeks. They also took good care of me. I couldn’t have wished for better host families.