The Rhode Island State Health Laboratory (RISHL) is a member of the FERN and as such, iscommitted to preparedness for detection and response to foodborne disease outbreaks. Thelaboratory seeks to maintain capability, augmented through participation in the first cycle ofMicrobiology Cooperative Agreement Program (FDA/FERN MCAP), through continuedparticipation in the MCAP. With the support of this continuation award, the RISHL willmaintain a staff trained on a variety of equipment platforms and protocols specified by theFDA and FERN, will participate in methods development and proficiency testing, willprovide surge capacity for FDA food testing, and will agree to share all testing results withFDA / FERN through eLEXNET.
Assuring safety of the public food supply requires a robust capability for detecting foodborne disease pathogens during routine food sample testing and as part of foodborne disease outbreak investigations. The purpose of the proposed project is to maintain the food testing capability and capacity of the Rhode Island State Health Lab developed under the first MCAP funding cycle, and to provide food testing surge capacity for the FDA.