An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Enhancing the Capacity and Capability of Human Food and Environmental Testing Laboratory at the Texas Department of State Health Services: Overall


Overall Project Summary Laboratory Flexible Funding Model (PAR-20-105) The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Laboratory Services Section(LSS) works in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers forDisease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the state regulatory body, DSHS ConsumerProtection Division (CPD), to ensure food and food products in Texas are safe. As a part of anintegrated food safety system, the goals of the LSS are to facilitate and improve food testingsurveillance, inspection, and investigation in the State of Texas. With the funding provided by this grant, CPD will continue partnership with LSS by actingas the LSS sampling organization. As part of the official sampling plan, LSS will testapproximately 500 samples per year under the Microbiology Human Food Product Testing trackfor each year within the 5-year period of the grant. During the third year, an additional 100chemistry samples will be added to the annual sampling plan under the Chemistry Human FoodProduct Testing track. Although not a part of the official sampling plan, CPD will also collect 50Radiochemistry samples annually test for the radioactive contamination along with identities ofradionuclides in human food product samples. Funding provided to cover sample collectioncosts incurred during sample collection by CPD will only be used for costs associated withsamples collected under the Human Food Product Testing tracks. LSS identifies hundreds of foodborne bacterial pathogen clusters each year by usingWhole Genome Sequencing (WGS) and plans to annually sequence at least 400 Salmonella,Listeria monocytogenes, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) and other related bacterialisolates from food and environmental samples from sources such as the FDA NationalAntimicrobial Resistant Monitoring System (NARMS) meat program and universities with testingand research laboratories. Currently, LSS does not perform qPCR screening for Salmonella.The outcome of this project would enhance the capacity and capabilities of LSS by making thisnew method available for routine surveillance testing on food/environmental samples in Texas. LSS intends to facilitate data exchanges with FDA by enhancing both data systems toenable the laboratory to submit sample analysis data via National Food Safety Data Exchangeintegration or ORA Partner Portal adoption allowing for more expedient decisions/actions topromote better public health.

Tanksley, Susan
Texas Department of State Health Services
Start date
End date
Project number