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Department of State Health Services, Laboratory Services Section, Approach to Food Testing for FERN


The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSH) has a well-equipped laboratory that employs over twelve analysts and four Team Leads for data review, and has the capability to respond to food related emergencies. Texas harvests many varieties of seafood and exports these products throughout the United States. In addition, Texas agriculture produces a wide array of meat, vegetable and grain products. Our common border with Mexico provides an easy avenue for the importation of agricultural products, both legal and illegal. This lengthy shared border could also provide easy access for person's intent on committing an act of terrorism. Currently, the DSHS laboratory has surveillance programs in place to monitor ground meat and ready to eat meat products, milk plant and dairy farm products, seafood products and bay water for the presence of biological organisms and other toxic substances. This grant would improve testing capabilities of food in Texas, thus enhancing the overall safety of food and food products imported to and exported from the state of Texas. Increased surveillance could aid in the earlier detection of a possible intentional contamination of our food supply. <p>The goals of this project are:</p><p><ol><li> Increased analytical capacity and expertise (including method development and validation) in the event of food outbreaks or other large-scale food emergency events requiring surge capacity testing of implicated food samples. </li><li> Implement standardized analytical results through the usage of standardized methods, equipment platforms (funded through this cooperative agreement) analytical worksheets, and electronic reporting. </li></ol></p><p>This proposal includes funding for:</p><p><ol><li> Analytical staff </li><li>Supplies and equipment for food testing</li><li>Travel for training and face to face meetings.</li></ol></p>

Tanksley, Susan
Texas Department of State Health Services
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