NEVADA STATE PUBLIC HEALTH LABORATORY OVERALL ABSTRACT SUMMARY
The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL) is the only public food-testing
laboratory in Nevada. Analytical food testing is provided to Nevada’s regulatory
agencies and health authorities assessing foods for regulatory compliance, emergency
response and foodborne outbreak investigations.
The NSPHL is the primary testing laboratory for Nevada’s Manufactured Food
Regulatory Program (MFRP) testing submitted foods monthly. In addition, the NSPHL
has been a CDC PulseNet Laboratory providing PFGE analyses, and more recently
whole genome sequencing testing, for foodborne related pathogens statewide.
The NSPHL is the designated FERN laboratory in Nevada as well as a Tier I
Laboratory Response Network (LRN-B) Biological and LRN-C Level II Chemical
Laboratory performing Select Agent/Hazard testing on a variety of matrices.
Over the past few years, the NSPHL has been working toward ISO/IEC 17025:2017
Accreditation. The initial onsite A2LA Assessment is scheduled for July 23-24, 2020.
The NSPHL is seeking to maintain the existing food testing capacities under the
ISO/IEC 17025:2017 scope while supporting the MFRP. In addition, enhancement of
the testing scope to include whole genome sequencing methodologies, radiochemistry
analyses as well as other methods to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act
(FSMA) to heighten food safety with a prevention focus.
Nevada is unique in that it not only provides public health laboratory services to
Nevada citizens but also to millions of tourists. As a destination state, there is an
abundance of food related establishments and buffet venues that could be a source of
concern. The 24/7 food service options in Nevada provide a beneficial and conscious
surveillance opportunity to assure protection of visitors and citizens’ health in Nevada
using a risk-based model with prevention being the focus.
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