The primary goal of this project is to provide surge capacity support for federal laboratories involved in testing food and food products for chemical contaminants that may threaten public health in addition to being a lab resource for testing of food and food products during surveillance activities. Other goals include the refinement or extension of existing analytical procedures for testing chemical contaminants in foods, the development of new testing procedures when suitable testing procedures are not available, and finally to establish a network of food safety labs that communicate, collaborate, and support one another with the common goal of food safety. A variety of analytical instruments will be used to support chemical testing procedures: ICP/MS for the testing of metals, GC/MSD and LCMS ion trap for the testing of organic chemicals, and ELISA for rapid screening of select organic chemicals.
The goal of this program is to enhance the ability of federal agencies and labs to test food and food products for contaminants, whether introduced accidentally or deliberately, to ensure that the food and food products are safe for consumption and in the event they are not, to aid in the rapid identification of contaminants in the foods that are creating a public health risk. Laboratories in this program will provide that support by: (1) Testing samples during an incident when the capacity of federal labs is exceeded, (2) Providing testing for surveillance programs to ensure chemical contaminants are not present if foods, (3) Assisting federal labs in the refinement and/or extension of existing testing procedures, and (4) Developing new testing procedures to enhance the national effort to detect contaminants in foods.