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Alaska Environmental Health Laboratory Acquiring ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation


<p>Project Summary: The State of Alaska Environmental Health Lab (EHL) provides support to the regulatory oversight of manufactured food establishments, retail food establishments, public facilities, and shellfish shippers, producers, and processors throughout Alaska in its goal to protect public health and environment. In July 2008, Alaska enrolled in the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program Standards (MFRPS), recognized critical elements in creating a national, fully integrated food safety system that are intended to enhance food safety by establishing a uniform basis for measuring and improving the performance of manufactured food regulatory programs in the United States. Part of this movement was to standardize the quality systems criteria to ISO 17025 for food testing so that is meaningful during surveillance for disease prevention as well as timely utilization across-jurisdictions in an foodborne outbreak. Conformance with these standards assists both federal and state programs in better directing their regulatory activities at reducing foodborne illness hazards in manufactured food plants. Additionally, by conforming to the standards, the state offers FDA the foundation for pursuing regulatory action based on findings of state-conducted inspections, tests and other regulatory activities. Consequently, the safety and security of the United States food supply will improve. Alaska has assessed its program and has developed a comprehensive strategic plan to continuously improve program areas that do not meet a particular standard with the intention of achieving full ISO 17025 certification by year five of this proposed cooperative agreement. Under this proposed cooperative agreement, Alaska's objectives are to develop, implement, and maintain program policies and procedures, provide training so that all staff is aware of the policies and procedures, and verify that the policies and procedures are being followed by using proficiency tests, internal audits and external audits as a measure. The purpose of this project is to improve service to FDA and to our food analysis clients, and to become better stewards of State resources through ISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation.</p>

McKinney, Patryce
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
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