FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Continuation Program (U18) RFA-FD-12-018 Proposal Abstract The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Microbiology Laboratory is eager to continue as a FDA FERN-funded microbiology laboratory, as well as an active participant in assisting FERN and FDA in protecting public health and the nation's food supply from both natural and intentional threats. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory seeks three years of funding through the FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Program for a total of $749,972. In addition to being a FERN Laboratory, the Microbiology Laboratory currently participates in three other food testing programs: WSDA state-directed Food Safety Program, the USDA- Microbiological Data Program (MDP), and the FDA-FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program. Accomplishments and attributes of our laboratory: " WSDA Microbiology Laboratory conducts an average of 16,000 individual tests on over 6,200 food and dairy samples under our state directed food safety program " WSDA Microbiology Laboratory has proven itself a successful partner under the 2009- 2012 FDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement, having completed all assignments successfully and on-time. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory FERN- FDA Microbiologist is regularly consulted as a technical expert under the agreement by member labs as well as FERN-MCAP administrators. " WSDA Microbiology Laboratory has a long-standing relationship with samplers from within other WSDA programs. For over ten years these samplers have demonstrated competence in aseptic sampling techniques and adhere to the strict sampling guidelines the USDA AMS-MDP Project. " WSDA Microbiology Laboratory analysts are knowledgeable and experienced in multiple food matrices, pathogens, toxins and testing environments. " The Laboratory has responded to many Washington State food emergencies and WSDA is a recipient of a FDA-funded Rapid Response Team Project Cooperative Agreement. " WSDA Microbiology Laboratory has the necessary space to continue supporting the additional work associated with this project and if funded, we propose to continue supporting a microbiologist dedicated to meeting the requirements of this Cooperative Agreement. " The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory is located in a strategic geographic area of the United States having major ports that ship and receive containers from all over the world. Nearly $9.3 billion in food and agricultural products are exported through Washington ports, the third largest in the United States. As an example, Seattle, the state's largest city and port, operates the gateway port for Asian and Canadian trade for the West Coast and the rest of the country " The FERN-FDA project mission fits well with the WSDA mission: "to serve the people of Washington by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection". If our FERN proposal is accepted we are willing and able to address all three project areas incorporated in this Cooperative Agreement: 1. Participate in FDA/FERN sample analysis 2. Provide analytical data for potential regulatory utilization 3. Participate in small-scale method development, method validation and matrix extension work as determined by FERN NPO.
FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Continuation Program (U18) RFA-FD-12-018 Public Health Relevance FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Program (U18) RFA-FD-12-018 fits well with Washington State Department of Agriculture's Mission to promote consumer and environmental protection. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory protects public health by conducting routine surveillance testing of food and dairy products and provides surge testing services to meet the needs in emergency foodborne illness outbreaks. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory, at the direction of FDA FERN, commits to testing food samples in the event of a national food illness, whether from natural or intentional threats.