New Hampshire Public Health LaboratoriesFDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative AgreementProject Summary/Abstract 2009 - 2012The NH Public Health Laboratories (NHPHL) will provide the Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) Food Emergency Response Laboratory Network (FERN)increased sample analysis in the event of food outbreaks or other large scale foodemergency events requiring surge capacity testing of implicated food samples. TheNHPHL will provide standardized analysis results for potential regulatory utilizationthrough the usage of standardized methods, equipment platforms, analyticalworksheets and electronic reporting. In addition the NHPHL will participate in small-scale, short-term method development and method validation projects as directed byFERN Program (NPO). The NHPHL was awarded a cooperative agreement in 2005 withthe US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service to enhance thelaboratory testing capability of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) formicrobiological threat agents. The PHL participated in the FERN cooperative agreementeach subsequent year. The NHPHL is a member of the FERN and a Laboratory ResponseNetwork (LRN) laboratory for both the microbiological and chemical laboratories. TheNHPHL Food Safety Unit (FSU) has six full time staff to participate in FERN relatedactivities. The NHPHL proposes to fund an additional food microbiologist specific forFDA FERN activities within this cooperative agreement. The NHPHL FSU has thenecessary equipment to conduct FERN related activities, responds to emergencysituations, including activation and participation in the State of New HampshireIncident Command System; recalling personnel to work after hours and on theweekends, quickly provide real time PCR results to other state agencies and reportinginto national electronic reporting systems. The NHPHL agrees to participate in FERNprograms for method development, food defense assignments, surveillanceassignments, food emergency outbreak testing, surge events, method training andproficiency testing when available. The NHPHL agrees to implement standardizedquality management systems for laboratories as determined by FERN.
Laboratories FDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement RELEVANCE 2009 -20012 This project will improve the FDA ability to quickly analyze foods and food products in the event that additional laboratory capacity is required. The FDA will be able to use laboratories funded by this cooperative agreement to provide food analysis related to microbiological contamination, either through intentional or unintentional means during a large scale, national event.