Achieving a Nationally Integrated Food Safety System: ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Project Summary- The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Department of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) has a 137-year history of food safety research, including 7 years as a member of the FDA Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Chemistry Cooperative Agreement Program (cCAP). In addition to being the sole laboratory in Connecticut providing chemical testing for the MFRPS program, the CAES DAC conducts a broader surveillance and monitoring program to ensure the safety of food in the state of CT. The goal of this proposal is to acquire the necessary funding and expertise to enable the CAES DAC to achieve ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The scope of accreditation will cover the CAES DAC Market Basket program. This program is conducted in coordination with the CT Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and includes the FDA MFRPS Program. Up to 250 food samples are collected annually by DCP inspectors and brought to the CAES DAC for chemical analysis. Specifically, the scope will cover the validation and implementation of in-house extraction and digestion procedures for the determination of both organic contaminants and elements, including heavy metals, in both manufactured and fresh foods. All sample extracts will be analyzed simultaneously by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS/MS) and by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS). The LC analysis will be by either by LC/MS/MS or by a High Resolution LC-MS for exact mass determination. Last, where appropriate, select manufactured and fresh food samples will be analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS) for element determination. The food matrices to be analyzed under the scope of this accreditation are those typically encountered in our Market Basket survey, which includes juices, ciders, baby food, and other processed fruits/vegetables. The scope will also cover fresh commodities, many of which are the source material for manufactured foods, such as apples, grapes, pears, select vegetables, and herbs. The CAES DAC has demonstrated the expertise, capability, and adaptability to fully meet the objectives of this proposal. Receipt of this award will significantly enhance the ability of the CAES DAC to meet the program goals laid out in the RFA, as described by the President's Food Safety Working Group, and as required by the Food Safety Modernization act.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station 123 HUNTINGTON STREET, P.O. BOX 1106, NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT 06504 Putting Science to Work for Society Protecting Agriculture, Public Health, and the Environment Founded 1875 Project Narrative As indicated on page I-60 of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies, the Project Narrative will reflect the second component of the summary, which is relevance. As indicated, using no more than 2 or 3 sentences, describe the relevance of this research to public health. In this section, be succinct and use plain language that can be understood by a general lay audience. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Department of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) has a 137-year history of food safety research and has been working with the CT Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for over two decades on the detection of pesticides and other contaminants in manufactured and fresh foods. The CAES DAC is the sole agency providing chemical analysis for the MFRPS program and in fact, our Market Basket surveillance program (which includes the MFRPS) is the only program monitoring the CT food supply for both incidental and intentional chemical adulteration. Since 2005, the CAES DAC has been a member laboratory of the FDA Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Chemistry Cooperative Agreement Program (cCAP), with notable contributions including participation in the national response to melamine contamination, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the ongoing analysis of juice products for arsenic. The current proposal for laboratory ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation will significantly advance CAES DAC competency, capacity and technical capability with regard to food safety and emergency response. As such, funding of this proposal will strengthen and support the FDA effort to establish a nationally integrated food safety system and thereby promote and protect public health. Phone: (203) 974-8500 Fax: (203) 974-8502 Toll Free: 1-(877) 855-2237 WWW.CT.GOV/CAES An Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer