Discipline A: Microbiology Analytical Track 4: Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) Project Summary/Abstract: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Food Safety Laboratories achieved accreditation in 2007 and maintains A2LA accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025:2017 for the specific tests listed in A2LA certificates 2534.01, 2534.02 and 2534.03 (available at www.A2LA.org). The Division has the responsibility for carrying out its duties or support functions as directed by the following Florida Statutes Chapters: 500, 502, 583, 586, and 601. The Division of Food Safety is responsible for assuring the public of a safe and wholesome food supply. This is accomplished through the permitting and inspection of food establishments; inspection and evaluation of food and dairy products; and the performance of biological and chemical laboratory testing on a variety of food and dairy products. As part of the FERN Microbiology CAP program, the Biology Section (DFS-Bio) is tasked with both response to national food emergencies and routine food surveillance as directed by FERN NPO. The Division of Food Safety Laboratories are applying for the Funding Opportunity titled: Laboratory Flexible Funding Model (LFFM), announcement number PAR-20-105, with anticipation of funding from 2020 through 2025 for enhancing the capacity and capabilities of WGS and outbreak detection in the area of Microbiology. The Laboratories are currently funded under the Florida Microbiology and Chemistry FDA FERN Program, 2015 ? 2020 (5U18FD005506-05). As the primary regulatory food testing laboratory for Florida, DFS-Bio works with our Division's Bureau of Food Inspection to conduct microbiological food analyses on behalf of the state?s manufactured food regulatory programs. DFS-Bio?s Microbiology program has been an active funded laboratory since the inception of the FERN microbiology program in 2004. DFS- Bio has been an active member of the FDA/CFSAN GenomeTrakr Network since 2015 and has sequenced hundreds of foodborne pathogenic isolates annually to contribute to the GenomeTrakr food and environmental database. The laboratory has participated in numerous WGS proficiency tests, method validations, and has participated in multiple external sequencing projects. The Division of Food Safety Laboratories are willing and able to participate in this opportunity and are fully committed to increase the analytical capability and capacity of our nation?s food testing laboratories so as to protect the nation?s food supply through food defense and surveillance activities, and thereby enhance efforts to work toward ensuring the public?s health.
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