This proposal is submitted collaboratively by the Association of Public Health Laboratories(APHL), the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO), and the Association of AmericanFeed Control Officials (AAFCO). The purpose of the collaboration is to further the goals ofthe Food Safety Modernization Act by facilitating long-term improvements to the nationalfood and animal feed safety system. The overall goal is to strengthen and integrate acommunity of food and feed testing laboratories for the advancement of public health. The threeAssociations are uniquely qualified to perform this work because their mission is to representand support the multi-disciplinary laboratories that perform food and animal feed testing insupport of regulatory programs, surveillance efforts, and outbreak investigations. Specificobjectives of the work include: management of support programs to facilitate ISO/IEC17025:2005 accreditation of member laboratories; establishment of equivalency between federal,state, and local food and feed testing laboratories; reaching national consensus on the acceptanceand better sharing of analytical data; identification of a national framework for a unifiedlaboratory response to food or animal feed safety emergencies; improvements in communicationamong federal, state, and local testing laboratories and with their associated regulatory andpublic health programs; providing a proficiency testing program for feed laboratories; andstrengthening partnerships with clinical laboratories to improve the sharing of samples andinformation. Achieving these objectives will require extensive collaboration and coordination ofthe three Associations, with federal partners, and with a wide range of stakeholders. The methodsto be employed to reach these objectives include identification of model programs and processes;pilot testing of new approaches; organization of national and regional forums and focus groups;development of working groups, resource repositories, and Subject Matter Expert registries;delivery of formal training sessions and other adult learning opportunities (in collaboration withthe International Food Protection Training Institute); and utilization of the existing committeeinfrastructure of each Association. Measurement of success will be against stated metrics, writtenand refined in consultation with the funding agency.
The purpose of this collaboration between the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the Association of Food and Drug Officials, and the Association of American Feed Control Officials is to further the goals of the Food Safety Modernization Act by strengthening and integrating the community of food and feed testing laboratories. Efforts to achieve laboratory accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard will lay the foundation for national consensus on equivalency, acceptance and sharing of analytical data, and a framework for unified laboratory response to food or animal feed safety emergencies. By facilitating long-term improvements to the national food and animal feed safety system, the work completed through this collaboration will advance public health initiatives and improve the safety of the US food supply.