Texas Department of State Health Services Food Emergency Response Network Radiological Laboratories RFA-FD-10-004 Project Summary/Abstract The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has a well equipped radiological laboratory that employs seven analysts, and has the capability to respond to radiological emergencies. Agriculture is a major industry in Texas, and Texas has several major ports which are active in food importing and exporting. DSHS currently has surveillance programs to monitor the food supply in Texas. Food and drug inspectors routinely collect samples of ground meat, ready to eat meat products, milk and dairy products, seafood products, and bay water. These samples are routinely tested by the DSHS laboratory for pathogenic organisms and other toxic substances. Chemical compounds and contaminants are monitored in drinking water, bottled water, and food samples. Radiological testing is performed on drinking water, bottled water, and many types of environmental samples. At this time, the only surveillance program for the radiological testing of food is conducted in the vicinity of the state's two nuclear power plants and the Pantex Weapons facility. The goals of this project are: (1) provide a reliable source of radiological analytical capability that is technically capable and organizationally committed to providing support to the FDA in the event of accidental or deliberate radiological contamination of the food supply. (2) develop expertise in radiological food testing. (3) build laboratory capacity to process a larger number and wider variety of samples quickly and accurately. (4) participate with the other FERN RAD CAP Labs to coordinate two interlaboratory-comparison emergency response exercises, one in 2012 and the other in 2015, as a follow-up to the MENU2010 exercise. This proposal includes funding for two chemists to perform the radiological testing of food surveillance samples, funding to provide necessary training for DSHS laboratory analysts to perform the FDA designated analytical methods designated, and funding for expenses incurred in implementing the FDA designated methods in our laboratory.
Texas Department of State Health Services Food Emergency Response Network Radiological Laboratories RFA-FD-10-004 Project Narrative This proposal addresses the need for a reliable source of radiological analytical capability that is technically capable and organizationally committed to providing support to the FDA in the event of accidental or deliberate radiological contamination of the food supply. Successful completion of the project will result in increased laboratory capability and capacity to analyze foods for radiological contamination and will be demonstrated through two laboratory response exercises.