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Achieving a Nationally Integrated Food Safety System: ISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Project Summary


The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) Department of Analytical Chemistry (DAC) has a 137-year history of food safety research, including 7 years as a member of the FDA Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Chemistry Cooperative Agreement Program (cCAP). In addition to being the sole laboratory in Connecticut providing chemical testing for the MFRPS program, the CAES DAC conducts a broader surveillance and monitoring program to ensure the safety of food in the state of CT. The goal of this proposal is to acquire the necessary funding and expertise to enable the CAES DAC to achieve ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). The scope of accreditation will cover the CAES DAC Market Basket program. This program is conducted in coordination with the CT Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) and includes the FDA MFRPS Program. Up to 250 food samples are collected annually by DCP inspectors and brought to the CAES DAC for chemical analysis. Specifically, the scope will cover the validation and implementation of in-house extraction and digestion procedures for the determination of both organic contaminants and elements, including heavy metals, in both manufactured and fresh foods. All sample extracts will be analyzed simultaneously by gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC/MS/MS) and by liquid chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS). The LC analysis will be by either by LC/MS/MS or by a High Resolution LC-MS for exact mass determination. Last, where appropriate, select manufactured and fresh food samples will be analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS) for element determination. The food matrices to be analyzed under the scope of this accreditation are those typically encountered in our Market Basket survey, which includes juices, ciders, baby food, and other processed fruits/vegetables. The scope will also cover fresh commodities, many of which are the source material for manufactured foods, such as apples, grapes, pears, select vegetables, and herbs. The CAES DAC has demonstrated the expertise, capability, and adaptability to fully meet the objectives of this proposal. Receipt of this award will significantly enhance the ability of the CAES DAC to meet the program goals laid out in the RFA, as described by the President's Food Safety Working Group, and as required by the Food Safety Modernization act.

White, Jason C
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
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