Two proficiency testing labs occupy nearly 1,200 sq. ft. of BSL-2 space and support the PT program at the Institute for Food Safety and Health, The PT program produces PT samples for both FDA and USDA food safety programs, manages the food chemistry and microbiology proficiency testing programs for the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN), and can be used for collaborative work with IFSH industry members. Equipment and features include -
- Well-equipped molecular biology laboratory, for all-purpose DNA and protein experiments.
- Newly reconfigured food microbiology/proficiency testing laboratory, for preparing and handling microbiology PT samples.
- Able to inoculate virtually any food product, including powders, water and fresh produce samples, and target any level of inoculation, such as extremely low levels in order to test the limits of detection for specific methods
- Dangerous goods shipment capabilities and certifications.
- Program expansion plans include additional capabilities in preparing freeze dried proficiency testing samples and preparing the PT program for ISO 17043 accreditation.
- Specialized equipment includes a number of cultural, immunoassay and molecular method microbial detection and identification instruments (conventional and automated real-time systems), biosafety hoods, autoclave, ultralow freezers for storing cultures and lysates, gel electrophoresis systems, robotic station, gel imaging and documentation system, hybridization ovens, and more.