New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories FDA/FERN Cooperative Agreement Project Proposal 2010-11 - Narrative RFA Number: RFA-FD-10-003Project Summary New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories (NHPHL) has been a Foodand Drug Administration (FDA)-supported Food Emergency Response Network(FERN) laboratory since 2005 when we were one of eight labs selected for theprogram. With this FDA support, we have enhanced our contaminated product-tampering response to include semi-volatile poisons by gaschromatography/mass spectrometry (GC-MS), non-volatile poisons by liquidchromatography/mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS-MS) andpoisonous metals by inductively coupled plasma/mass spectrometry (ICP-MS)using FERN-CAP methods T-021, T-022, and T-026. During this time we werefortunate to sponsor a University of New Hampshire graduate student whoseproject was to develop a less labor-intensive method for paralytic shellfish toxins.In the next project period we propose to expand on the FDA-CAP program foridentifying toxic substances in foods, while building on the shellfish toxin testingto include improvements in detection, additional toxins, and utilization of musselsamples to survey metals content in two locations on New Hampshire's coastlineas well as to improve the ability of FERN laboratories to test for these dangeroustoxins. Development of the metals technique will assist with the development ofan analysis of canned fish. In this project period we propose to hire an additional part-timetoxicologist. This employee will be helpful in carrying out some of the routinefoods testing, as well as assisting with implementation of our new LaboratoryInformation Management System (LIMS) as it relates to foods analysis in thechemistry laboratories.
The proposed project is comprised of four parts, all of which have public health relevance: method expansion, expanded shellfish toxin testing, metals in shellfish from different collection locations, and scombroid poison testing. The method expansion for all of these toxic substances will enhance the ability of the FERN and the CAP network to handle a (wider) variety of foods and to detect a wider variety of substances that might intentionally or unintentionally poison or terrorize. The FDA will be able to use laboratories funded by this cooperative agreement to provide food analysis related to chemical contamination during a large scale, national event.