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Improving The Food Testing Capability of Alabama Public Health Laboratories


AbstractThe Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Bureau of Clinical Laboratories(BCL) is identified as the primary laboratory for conducting microbiological andchemical food analyses on behalf of the ADPH Bureau of Environmental Services'Manufactured Food Regulatory Program (MFRP). According to Standard 10, theprimary laboratory must perform testing in conformance with ISO/IEC 17025:2005standards. Laboratory accreditation for performing food testing is critical for ensuringdefensible data and providing prompt and appropriate state and federal response tofoodborne illness outbreaks and emergencies.Therefore, the goal of this project is to achieve and maintain ISO/IEC 17025:2005accreditation for the BCL's microbiological and chemical food testing programs whichwill help satisfy MFRP Standard 10. This will require enhancements to the QualityAssurance program to upgrade to the more stringent process requirements for thisprestigious accreditation. The schema for accomplishing the objectives for thisaccreditation includes an initial quality management system assessment and gapanalysis; implementation of processes to address gaps identified; development of atimeframe to address identified gaps; scheduling of final assessment; and achievingISO/IEC 17025:2005 accreditation status.Laboratory quality management personnel will participate in the initial gap analysis andsubsequently be primarily responsible for developing practices and procedures formeeting accreditation requirements processes. Testing personnel familiar with thetechnical and operational aspects of chemical and microbiological food laboratorypractices will participate in the initial gap analysis and will subsequently be primarilyinvolved with developing practices and procedures to meet analytic laboratoryaccreditation requirements. Informatics personnel will develop and implement tools toachieve and maintain processes and mechanisms for the timely and accurate sharing oflaboratory data with federal agencies for regulatory, surveillance, and emergencyresponse activities.

Massingale, Sharon
Alabama Department of Public Health
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