Quality Assurance

Mark LeBlanc  |  9/29/2009 10:23:55 PM

The Agricultural Chemistry Laboratory has a Quality Assurance Program designed to ensure that data produced by the laboratory is reliable, scientifically sound and reported on time. The laboratory achieves this by having a good quality control program that includes documentation, training, implementating good laboratory practices, participating in several proficiency testing programs and employing a full-time quality assurance officer. Our aim is to provide quality that is satisfactory, adequate, dependable and economical.

The Meat Lab is USDA, FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) accredited for protein, moisture, fat and salt. The Meat Lab participates in a USDA-FSIS ALT check sample program for protein, moisture, fat and salt; and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) check sample program for salt.

Both the Pesticide Sections of Residue and Formulations participate in Inter laboratory check sample programs – State of Wisconsin Pesticide Residue Check Sample Program for residue and AAPCO (Association of American Pesticide Control Officials Inc.) for formulations.

In addition to complying with EPA guidelines for quality control, the Pesticide section submits an annual status report that assesses the accuracy, precision and completeness of pesticide analyses performed during that year to the Environmental Services Division of EPA Region 6.

Recently the Ag Chemistry lab became a part of the Food Emergency and Response Network (FERN) and has started participating in its microbiology and chemistry proficiency tests. The PT sets encompass meat, milk, catfish, ground beef and lettuce samples as the matrix.

The Feed and pet food lab analyzes samples from AAFCO on a monthly basis. Check samples of known concentrations are run at known intervals to monitor the quality of the analytical results being produced.

The Fertilizer lab partakes in Magruder check sample programs on a monthly basis. Analysts also run internal reference samples or Standard Reference Materials (SRM) on a daily basis to evaluate the precision and accuracy of the analytical results.

The Micro lab participates in a sample program called Aflatoxin Share Sample Program which includes 12 states. A check sample is produced by one participating lab once a month and sent to the other labs for analysis.

The quality control officer is responsible for implementing a quality control system that achieves accurate and reliable results and regularly assessing the effectiveness of the program through systematic documentation.

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