Building an Integrated Laboratory System to Advance the Safety of Food and Animal Feed

Dare Akingbade, Tom Phillips, Nancy Thiex, Ron Klein, Cynthia Mangione, Yvonne Salfinger, Shari Shea

Abstract


The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provides the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with  structures to achieve better public health protection and improve the food safety system. The Partnership for Food Protection (PFP) was created to ensure collaboration among federal, state and local entities and to formulate standards that can be used nationally to ensure uniformity of inspection and laboratory procedures and expand foodborne outbreak response capacity. The national standards together with laboratory accreditation are expected to allow the seamless use of laboratories analytical data across federal, state and local jurisdictions in response to outbreaks and the rapid acceptance of such data for regulatory actions.

In 2012, FDA funded three national organizations (Association of Public Health Laboratories, Association of Food and Drug Officials, and Association of American Feed Control Officials) to prepare government food and feed regulatory testing laboratories seeking to achieve, maintain, and enhance ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation.  These associations strengthen multi-disciplinary laboratory collaboration, develop training and mentoring programs, improve direct electronic sharing of analytical data, and build a framework for unified laboratory response.  Their efforts will increase the number of accredited governmental food and feed testing laboratories within five years, thereby leading to a safer national food supply.


Keywords


ISO 17025, accreditation, laboratory, associations, food, feed

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References


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Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 2013. Federal/State Integration. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/ucm257981.htm

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