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This grant proposal from the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) The objective of this proposal is to outline the current capability as well as expand the scope of accreditation to test food samples under the State Manufactured Food Regulatory Program (MFRP) by the Ohio Department of Agriculture's (ODA) Consumer Protection Laboratory (CPL). If CPL is able to obtain additional funding, CPL will enhance the scope as well as maintain its ISO/IEC 17025:2005 laboratory accreditation and expertise. Ohio's state of the art facilities and experience will also help guide and participate in the mentoring of other state laboratories that are just beginning the accreditation process. If CPL is able to develop a more diversified accreditation program, the result would further support the Manufactured Food Regulatory Program (MFRP) for Ohio and develop greater consistency with our federal counterparts. Another objective of CPL's in this proposal is to expand its laboratory analyses for different types of food products. Expanding accreditation for CPL into different areas will help to facilitate the analytical capacity for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which will translate into a better protection of the nation's food supply. Results from CPL testing will be made available through the eLEXNET system. Developing a nationwide interface for test results will assist FDA in their enforcement actions, as well as for providing general surveillance during food borne outbreaks. Enhanced laboratory accreditation will also assist ODA's Division of Food Safety in achieving their program conformance and general assessment with the MFRP standards. Since CPL is already a Food Emergency and Response Network (FERN) laboratory for both Microbiology and Chemistry, strengthening the surge capacity and the capability of the FERN for the detection of microbiological and chemical contaminants in response to a food borne disease outbreaks or large-scale food emergencies would be an added benefit. Including state laboratories into the federal system will strengthen the capabilities of the FERN and FDA programs and provide consistent laboratory analyses related to microbiological and/or chemical contaminations.. This proposal addresses the three key project areas that FDA has identified as the critical functions integral to this project. As part of the proposal, a detailed view of the laboratory facilities is provided and supplemented with details of the laboratory support services and the campus security plan. To implement the projects outlined in the proposal, the qualifications and the work experience of CPL's staff is also presented. Additionally, the laboratory management practices are also explained in great detail. This grant proposal also addresses the FDA request for the laboratory's ability and willingness to enter data into eLEXNET.

Rosa, Yamir
Ohio Department of Agriculture
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