FDA Grant: ISO 17025 Accreditation for State Food Testing Laboratories Breakout of Funds Year 1: Year one will be a lot of training for laboratory staff on the requirements for implementation and maintenance of ISO/IEC 17025 standard, training of the Quality Assurance Coordinator on tasks/concepts to be developed in the accredited laboratory and staff training for more in- depth education on some of the more complex food methods. A gap-analysis will be performed in this year to determine where the laboratory currently is in the accreditation journey. And the laboratory will be working with Consumer Health Services on a sampling agreement for MFPRS. Years 2 and 3: The implementation of the sampling plan will occur in year 2. The laboratory will focus on further development of our quality management system which is essential to obtaining accreditation. Identified non-conformances will be addressed through an improvement plan that includes personnel, timeline and tasks. The Quality Assurance Coordinator will be learning how to perform internal audits and management reviews along with a review of proficiency testing being performed at the laboratory. FERN and eLEXNET participation will comply with federal requirements. If preparations are far enough along, the laboratory may request a pre- assessment survey from the accrediting body. Year 4: The laboratory will apply to the accrediting body for accreditation of the methods/programs previously determined. The laboratory will address any deficiencies or non-conformances from the pre-assessment. Training will continue to ensure laboratory staff stay abreast of accreditation and scientific/technological advances in areas that relate to food testing. Sampling agreement continues to be implemented. Year 5: The laboratory is granted accreditation by the accrediting body. Plans for maintaining or enhancing accreditation (adding more methods) are defined. The laboratory continues its participation in FERN and eLEXNET and the sampling agreement continues to be implemented.
The Wyoming Department of Agriculture Analytical Services Laboratory (ASL) serves as the food testing laboratory for the state?s food regulatory inspection program. ASL is applying for an FDA grant to help state food laboratories obtain and maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. Accreditation of state food laboratories is important in enhancing food safety and working towards achieving a nationally integrated food safety system. Laboratory accreditation attests to the competency and technical capability of a laboratory to perform specific tasks. The results generated by an accredited laboratory are defensible to a recognized standard that is independent of laboratory personnel or other changes. In addition, accreditation supports the traceability of technical results generated by a laboratory. In the event of a large-scale event affecting food or food products, States and Federal authorities can use laboratory test results from accredited laboratories and move quickly on enforcing regulatory compliance to protect the safety of the food supply. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is now requiring that state food testing laboratories become ISO 17025 accredited. This impacts ASL because we provide meat testing under the Meat Poultry Inspection (MPI) program. Accreditation is also being required by FDA Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for animal feed and it is expected that the EPA will also require this accreditation in coming years. This FDA grant opportunity is a way for ASL to continue our accreditation efforts with federal support and continue to perform testing for our states food regulatory programs while maintaining compliance with our federal regulatory partners. Funds from our federal grant will be used to provide accreditation specific in-depth training to our Quality Assurance Coordinator along with more generalized training for the entire laboratory staff and later years training to keep staff abreast of accreditation/scientific and technological advances. Funds may also be used for equipment specific to food testing, service agreements, supplies for food testing and costs from the accrediting body. The QA Coordinator?s contract will be paid from the grant for years 2-5 because the Legislature only funded this position for one year.