The North Carolina Department of Agriculture &Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Food &Drug Protection Division (FDPD) Laboratory is pleased to have the opportunity to submit a proposal for continuation of our FDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement. We are committed to completing the key project areas outlined in RFD-FD-12-018, including: ?participate in FDA/FERN sample analysis ?provide surge testing capacity for FDA ?use standard methods, equipment platforms and reporting methods ?participate in PT programs to confirm competency ?participate in FDA and FERN sponsored training ?participate in method development, validation and matrix extensions The Laboratory has the infrastructure and personnel in place to accomplish all deliverables set forth by FERN and FDA in this Cooperative Agreement. Through current inspection and surveillance programs, threat agent and foodborne organism analyses, and extensive technical expertise, FDPD can provide added value to our federal partners. Pag 1 o 1
In the event of a large-scale outbreak or threat incident, FDA laboratories may not have the capacity to accommodate all testing needs. The availability of state laboratories that have the same equipment, test methods and competency as the FDA laboratories is critical to sustaining a large event. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture &Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Food &Drug Protection Division (FDPD) Laboratory has the capability, capacity and competency to provide surge testing to support a local or national food safety or defense incident. The Laboratory has a strong partnership with FERN, as the Laboratory has been a Cooperative Agreement Laboratory with both FDA and FSIS for several years. We have provided method validation and matrix extension data to the NPO, supplied surge capacity testing when requested, completed surveillance assignments, and been a source of information and expertise to other laboratories within the network. We are an active participant in the FERN community and we will continue these partnerships through this FDA funded Cooperative Agreement. The FDPD is committed to supporting food safety and defense locally and nationally. We have been involved with and support multiple local and national activities and initiatives, including: ? Since early 2011, we have been highly involved with FDA and the Partnership for Food Protection initiatives, having representatives on Laboratory subcommittees for the Regulatory Annex, Proficiency Testing, Method Selection, and Accreditation. ? NC has a very active Food Safety and Defense Task Force comprised of regulatory (NC Agriculture, NC Public Health, State and Federal FDA), industry, retail, academia. The FDPD Management, Food Program and Laboratory participate in bimonthly state-wide meetings and serve on various committees to develop and implement initiatives for food safety and defense. Laboratory staff is available as subject matter experts. ?The FDPD Laboratory is a member of the Association of Public Health Laboratories and participates on quarterly conference calls with APHL and other state agricultural lab representatives. Conference call agendas include sharing ideas and issues for food safety and defense testing. ?The Commissioner of the NCDA&CS, Steve Troxler, served as the 2011-12 First Vice- President of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and Chair of the Food Regulation and Nutrition Committee, which includes focus on food safety. Commissioner Troxler has been an avid supporter of food safety and defense in NC, sponsoring an annual Commissioner's Food Safety Conferences for 7 years for industry, regulatory, citizen and media education and collaboration on current and emerging issues. The North Carolina Department of Agriculture &Consumer Services (NCDA&CS), Food &Drug Protection Division (FDPD) Laboratory is committed to working with local, state and federal partners in food safety and defense.