Lawrence D. Goodridge, PhD
As the intricacies of the U.S. Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) continue to be smoothed out, one aspect of the proposed Act that is receiving a fair amount of attention is FSMA and food testing requirements — who does the testing and whether accreditation is required by the testing laboratories. Although most of the details still need to be finalized, a close reading of FSMA reveals that the terms “laboratories” and “accreditation” are linked a total of 24 times.1 As well, s. 202 of FSMA requires the establishment of a program for food testing by accredited laboratories and stipulates that the FDA must establish a program for laboratory accreditation to ensure that U.S. food-testing laboratories meet acceptable standards.2
The recently formed Food Laboratory Alliance, a collaboration between a number of major food testing laboratories, promotes food safety and food lab testing quality, and education of its members on food lab regulatory and legislative issues, and is as an advocate for more testing to ensure a safe food supply. Clearly, one of the Alliance’s main priorities will be to convince the food testing laboratory community of the need for accreditation.