The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS), within the Schoolof Veterinary Medicine at the University of California - Davis, is uniquely qualified to participatein a cooperative agreement with the Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VetLRN).Disease detection and bacterial pathogen identification are critical components of our diagnosticmission. As an accredited member of the American Association of Veterinary LaboratoryDiagnosticians (AAVLD), CAHFS adheres to rigorous standards and strict performancemonitoring required for certification by this organization. We utilize established and validatedstandardized operating procedures (SOP's) to perform specimen processing; microbial testing;and secure results reporting to ensure we are providing timely and accurate results to oursubmitters and stakeholders. In our role as a food safety testing facility, we are adept atprocessing and evaluating a variety of animal foods and feeds as well as food products intendedfor human consumption for bacterial pathogens. Our experience with both classical andmolecular methods to detect foodborne bacterial agents and potential pathogens could beextremely beneficial to the VetLRN in both small-scale and large-scale food intoxication events.These qualifications align well with the mission of the VetLRN and will strengthen the FDA'sability to recognize and respond to an animal food or product contamination event. The recentoutbreak of human illnesses that were associated with exposure to potentially Salmonella-contaminated pet food highlights the possible widespread health issues that can arise from ananimal feed product contamination. We recognize the critical role that the VetLRN plays inrecognizing and responding to these types of events, and we welcome the opportunity toexpand this working relationship.
The Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VetLRN) will help to ensure rapid recognition of and response to an animal food/feed/product bacterial or toxic contamination event. Through the established procedures and technical expertise used in the laboratory facility to conduct bacteriological testing, the California Animal Health and Food Safety Lab System (CAHFS) will provide diagnostic support to assist the VetLRN in its goals. Detection of potential pathogens in food matricies through testing conducted at CAHFS will help to minimize the detrimental effects on animals consuming these materials as well as prevent bacterial diseases in humans exposed to affected animals or their food products.