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Vermont Department of Health Laboratory Iso/iec 17025 Accreditation Maintenance and Enhancement


The Vermont Department of Health Laboratory (VDHL) is applying for funding to maintain and enhance itsISO/IEC 17025 Accreditation for its Food Testing Laboratory. Funding is being sought to maintain andenhance VDHL's quality management and information management systems and to expand its food testingcapability and capacity to advance Vermont and National food safety networks in protecting the food supply.VDHL plans to maintain a quality management system that is in compliance with the requirements of ISO/IEC17025 by following the 17025 standard and submitting to external assessments by an independent,internationally recognized accrediting body, A2LA. The quality management system will undergo an internalaudit, conducted by the Quality Systems Specialist, at least annually, and an external audit every two years byA2LA. Deficiencies will be captured in VDHL's corrective action and preventive action system and animprovement plan will be developed. VDHL management team will review the entire operation of the qualitysystem each year to ensure the system is compliant with ISO/IEC 17025 standards.VDHL plans to continue working in collaboration with the VDH Food and Lodging Program (VDHFL), which hasa contract with the U.S. food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been enrolled in the Manufactured FoodRegulatory Program (MFRP) since 2008, to expand its scope of accreditation. VDHL is the sole servicinglaboratory for Vermont's MFRP. VDHL will add two methods to its scope of accreditation each grant year tomeet the needs of VDHFL. In Year 1, VDHL will add FDA methods for isolation and identification of Listeriamonocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 and non-O157 STEC. In Year 2, VDHL plans to add FDAmethods for Campylobacter spp. and Staphylococcal Enterotoxins.VDHL and VDHFL plan to collaborate to increase the number and type of surveillance food samples that arecollected and analyzed. VDHL and VDHFL have a signed sample collection and analysis plan which states thetypes of food, target analytes, frequency of collection and the number of samples to collect annually (at least75 samples). This plan also outlines sampling methodology and transportation of samples to VDHL, includingthe use of chain-of-custody. VDHL employs three staff that perform food analysis, two technicians that supportthe food laboratory, as well as management and administrative support personnel.VDHL plans to continue its participation in the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and in FDA'sinitiatives supporting VDHL's ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. VDHL will continue to enter all test data generatedby the food laboratory into eLEXNET and provide reports, along with evidentiary documentation, to FDA withinthe stated set deadlines. In addition, VDHL plans to participate in meetings, teleconferences, trainings andproficiency tests that are conducted by FERN and FDA.This grant funded project is essential for the sustainability of VDHL and its ability to safeguard the food supply.

Celotti, Mary
Vermont State Agency of Human Services (AHS)
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