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New Hampshire FDA FERN - Microbiological Program

Bean, Christine
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
Start date
End date

Summary/Abstract 2009 - 2012The NH Public Health Laboratories (NHPHL) will provide the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Emergency Response Laboratory Network (FERN)increased sample analysis in the event of food outbreaks or other large scale food emergency events requiring surge capacity testing of implicated food samples. The NHPHL will provide standardized analysis results for potential regulatory utilization through the usage of standardized methods, equipment platforms, analytical worksheets and electronic reporting. In addition the NHPHL will participate in small-scale, short-term method development and method validation projects as directed by FERN Program (NPO). The NHPHL was awarded a cooperative agreement in 2005 with the US Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service to enhance the laboratory testing capability of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) for microbiological threat agents. The PHL participated in the FERN cooperative agreement each subsequent year. The NHPHL is a member of the FERN and a Laboratory Response Network (LRN) laboratory for both the microbiological and chemical laboratories. The NHPHL Food Safety Unit (FSU) has six full time staff to participate in FERN related activities. The NHPHL proposes to fund an additional food microbiologist specific for FDA FERN activities within this cooperative agreement. The NHPHL FSU has the necessary equipment to conduct FERN related activities, responds to emergency situations, including activation and participation in the State of New Hampshire Incident Command System; recalling personnel to work after hours and on the weekends, quickly provide real time PCR results to other state agencies and reporting into national electronic reporting systems. The NHPHL agrees to participate in FERN programs for method development, food defense assignments, surveillance assignments, food emergency outbreak testing, surge events, method training and proficiency testing when available. The NHPHL agrees to implement standardized quality management systems for laboratories as determined by FERN.

Funding Source
Food and Drug Administration
Project source
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Project number
Legislation and Regulations
Food Defense and Integrity