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Welcome to the Ohio Consumer Protection Lab website.
The Consumer Protection Laboratory is Ohio's premier food and agricultural testing laboratory. The laboratory tests food, feeds, fertilizers, pesticides, animal exhibition samples and race track samples. It is also state's the primary emergency response laboratory for biological and chemical terrorism in food and environmental products. On an annual basis, the laboratory tests close to 50,000 samples for over 250,000 tests.
Mission and Operating Philosophy
The mission of the Consumer Analytical Laboratory is to provide chemistry and microbiological analytical services to support the Ohio Department of Agriculture divisions of dairy, meat inspection, food safety, plant industry and animal industry. The CPL also provides analytical services to federal partners in programs sponsored by the USDA, FDA and USEPA, and also a variety of state agencies for outbreak investigations, and consumer complaints. The CPL is an active member of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) to help assure the safety of Ohio's food supply and offer surge capacity for the Ohio Department of Health in the event of an outbreak investigation or bioterrorism event. Analytical services are also available for private individuals and industries.
The CPL is divided into four primary areas of functional operation: Microbiological, Pesticides, General Chemistry and Analytical Toxicology.
CPL microbiology section offers testing on a wide variety of samples including dairy products, processed meat products, fruits and vegetables, drinking water for bacteria that cause food borne illness. For details see the Microbiology section.
CPL pesticides section offers residue studies on a wide variety of samples such as fruits and vegetables, water, soil, plant and animal tissue, clothing articles and air to determine pesticide misuse or other forms of contamination. It also offers formulation studies on a variety of samples ranging from insect/plant spray and rodent poison in order to determine if the active ingredients meet label claims. For details see the Pesticides section.
CPL general chemistry section offers a variety of testing on animal feeds, food, fertilizer, lime, meat, dairy and water samples. Examples of tests performed are fat, moisture, protein, salt, fiber, minerals, Vitamin A, antibiotics in animal feeds and compliance testing against label claims. It also provides testing for performance enhancing drugs for Ohio's Fair Exhibition Program. For details see the General Chemistry section.
CPL analytical toxicology section is the official drug testing lab for the Ohio State Racing Commission (OSRC). The lab provides testing of samples from horses competing at Ohio's seven commercial racetracks and over seventy county fairs for prohibited substances under the OSRC's Medication and Drug Related Regulations. It also offers testing to racetracks outside the state of Ohio. For details see the Analytical Toxicology Laboratory section.
Quality of Testing
CPL provides the testing services in a timely manner with the best possible quality. Laboratory's quality management system specifies all of the policies, procedures and work instructions necessary to ensure that testing and services are performed in conformance to client requirements and in accordance with the requirements of ISO 17025:2005 Standards for a number of programs.
In 2009 the laboratory received ISO 17025 accreditation from American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for testing residue level chemicals in foods. In 2010 the laboratory received A2LA ISO accreditation for its animal drug testing program and also for its microbiological testing in fruits and vegetable. In 2011 the laboratory received the same for its microbiological testing in meat and meat products. The laboratory is in the process of bringing its other testing programs under ISO accreditation.
In order to monitor the quality of testing and the competence of the laboratory personnel, CPL participates in a number of national and international proficiency tests (PT) programs. Supervisors and the quality assurance personnel review the laboratory's performance in these PT programs and appropriate corrective and preventive actions are taken wherever needed.