RESEARCH &RELATED Other Project Information No. 7 Project Summary Abstract The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Laboratory provides testing of food for microbiological contamination to protect the public's health. The IDPH Laboratory participates in the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and is a grantee of the FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program (MCAP). In addition, the Laboratory is the primary laboratory conducting microbiological food analyses requested by the IDPH Food and Dairy Program. The IDPH Food and Dairy Program currently has a three- year FDA Food Inspection Contract (HHSF223200940028C), effective until June 30, 2012. A new proposal for an FY2013 food inspection contract is being prepared and will be accompanied by enrollment in the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS) on July 1, 2012. The laboratory currently has testing capability to isolate and identify bacterial contamination of food by several organisms including Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli O157 and non-O157, and Listeria. Through participation in the FERN MCAP, the laboratory has received and successfully tested large number of food samples. After isolation of any bacterial contamination, identification of the bacteria is accomplished through the use of both biochemical and automated, rapid-response testing developed through participation in FERN MCAP. The identification of the bacteria is completed by the use of serotyping and Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE). These results are compared to results of bacteria isolated from clinical specimens to characterize the extent of a food borne outbreak and hopefully identify the food source of the outbreak. The objective of this grant is to prepare primary service laboratories to achieve and maintain ISO/IEC 17025:2005 laboratory accreditation by a recognized accrediting authority. This objective is in alignment with ongoing efforts by the IDPH Division of Laboratories. IDPH labs are currently in the process of developing a quality management system for food microbiological testing that meets the managerial and technical requirements of the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standard. The laboratory is also developing a laboratory information management system (LIMS) to track receipt and testing of food samples and reporting of results to various agencies. Our application proposes the use of FDA expertise and funds from this grant to add to the on-going effort to improve the food testing quality management system and electronic reporting capability already in progress at IDPH.

Public Health Relevance

RESEARCH &RELATED Other Project Information No. 8 Project Narrative After achieving accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2055 using assistance from this grant, the data generated by the IDPH laboratory from food testing will be of a quality comparable to other laboratories accredited to the same standard. The data generated will be accepted and used by both state and federal regulatory agencies for routine surveillance and during public health emergency situations such as food borne outbreaks. The data will be legally defensible for use during any enforcement or criminal actions as it can be shown to be generated using the requirements of an internationally recognized standard.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Research Demonstration--Cooperative Agreements (U18)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZFD1)
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Illinois State Department of Public Health
United States
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