Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory ServicesFDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program PAR-09-215Project AbstractThe Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services (DCLS) serves the Commonwealth of Virginiaas the State Laboratory providing analytical testing in support of foodborne disease surveillanceoutbreak response and large-scale food emergency testing in coordination with State analyticalrequirements. DCLS continues to use both state funds and FERN FDA MicrobiologicalCooperative Agreement (U18 FD003814) funding to strengthen and improve our capability andcapacity to rapidly and accurately identify microbiological contaminants in food. Over the pastthree years, FDA FERN funding has enabled DCLS to participate in all offered surveillanceassignments, proficiency testing, method evaluation studies and to learn and exercise the use ofstandardized analytical worksheets and electronic result reporting in collaboration with FERN .Continued support for personnel, equipment and reagents is necessary for DCLS to continueour full participation and support of these initiatives and to continue to strengthen our foodtesting program. This proposal identifies core yet critical resources necessary for DCLSmaintain and strengthen our current capability and capacity to rapidly and accurately respond toissues of food safety and food security. Scientific personnel supported through FDA FERNCooperative Agreement funding have invested hundreds of hours in training, competencyassessments and establishing proficiencies in FDA standardized methods and instrumentation.Additionally, instrumentation has been maintained and supplies stocked in order to assure aready state of preparedness. With 2012-2013 funding, DCLS proposes to continue to supportthe salaries of three FERN FDA scientists dedicated to FERN laboratory testing initiatives andto support emergency outbreak and surge testing needs. DCLS agrees to actively participate inall offered surveillance assignments, proficiency testing exercises and special projects asoffered by the FERN NPO. DCLS will continue to collaborate with FDA subject matter expert toevaluate novel analytical methodologies to support and expand existing FERN methods in orderto improve sensitivity and specificity of pathogen detection and recovery. In the event of alarge-scale microbiological contamination event affecting foods, DCLS commits to assisting theother cooperative agreement laboratories with performing selected microbiological analyses ofdomestic and imported food samples collected and supplied by the FDA or other governmentagencies through FDA. DCLS will perform standardized methods and generate qualitycontrolled and assured analytical data in compliance with regulatory requirements as requestedby FDA NPO. DCLS will also engage in studies aimed at the method development, validationand matrix extension of methods as directed by the FERN NPO. Additionally, DCLS willprovide all analytical data for potential regulatory action to FERN NPO as instructed usingstandardized analytical worksheets and reporting methods.

Public Health Relevance

Commonwealth of Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services FDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program PAR-09-215 Project Narrative FDA FERN Microbiology Cooperative Agreement Program funding will be used to provide continued support for existing personnel, maintain equipment and purchase testing supplies and reagents to increase Virginia's capability and capacity to respond to foodborne outbreaks and other large-scale food emergency events. Funding will allow the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Virginia's State Laboratory, to provide analytical testing in support of state and federal food safety initiatives and continue to work collaboratively with the FDA to standardize test methods and result reporting.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1-SRC (99))
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VA Division/Consolidated Lab Services
United States
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