FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Continuation Program (U18) RFA-FD-15-019Proposal AbstractThe Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Microbiology Laboratory is eager to continue as anFDA FERN-funded microbiology laboratory, as well as continue as an active participant in the creation of thenations' Integrated Food Safety System. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory seeks five years of fundingthrough the FDA FERN Cooperative Agreement Program for a total of $1,199,824. The Microbiology Laboratorycurrently participates in three food testing programs: WSDA state-directed Food Safety program, and AnimalFeed program, and the FDA-FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program.Accomplishments and attributes The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory: ? Conducts an average of 15,000 individual tests on over 6,000 food, feed, environmental and dairy samples under our state directed food safety program. ? Is eligible to apply for this Cooperative Agreement Program since we currently receive funding under the FDA FERN MCAP. The WSDA Microbiology Laboratory has proven itself a successful partner under the 2009-2012 & 2012-2015 FDA FERN Microbiological Cooperative Agreements, having completed all assignments successfully and on-time. Our Laboratory's FERN-Microbiologist took a leading role in research projects under the agreement in the past several years. ? Has a long-standing relationship with WSDA Food Safety Program's samplers. For over fifteen years these samplers have demonstrated competence in aseptic sampling techniques and adherence to the strict sampling guidelines of USDA AMS-MDP Project. ? Microbiologists are knowledgeable and experienced in multiple food matrices, pathogens, toxins and various testing environments. ? Provides testing support under WSDA's FDA-funded Rapid Response Team Cooperative Agreement and has responded to many Washington State food poisoning cases: Salmonella from Trader Joe's Peanut Butter, environmental samples from a custom meat slaughtering facility, and Listeria monocytogenes found in Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream to name a few recent incidents. FDA-FERN MCAP was instrumental in these efforts. ? Has the necessary space to continue supporting the additional work associated with this project. If funded, we propose to continue supporting a microbiologist dedicated to meeting the requirements of this Cooperative Agreement. ? Is located in a strategic geographic area of the United States. Washington State is home to several major international shipping ports, through which nearly $15.1 billion in food and agricultural products were exported in 2013. The Port of Seattle, the state's largest city and port, is the gateway port for all Asian and Canadian trade. ? Has a mission statement which fits well with this project mission-: "to serve the people of Washington by supporting the agricultural community and promoting consumer and environmental protection". ? Has been accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 since 2011If our FERN proposal is accepted, we are willing AND able to address all three project areas incorporated inthis Cooperative Agreement: 1. Participate in FDA/FERN sample analysis 2. Provide analytical data for potential regulatory utilization 3. Participate in small-scale method development, method validation and matrix extension work as determined by FERN NPOUsing the following three key techniques defined in this Cooperative Agreement: 1. Various standardized cultural and biochemical analytical methods 2. Various standardized serological analytical methods 3. Various standardized molecular analytical methods for the detection and identification of food-borne pathogens.