Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) & Research Laboratory
The Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) is a program jointly run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Food and Drug Adminstratiom (FDA) whose mission is to integrate the nation's food testing laboratories at the local, state and federal levels into a network that is able to respond to emergencies involving biological, chemical or radiological contamination of food.
Our laboratory has been awarded FDA's Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) Microbiological Cooperative Agreement Program since 2009.
We stand ready to function as a satellite FDA-like laboratory in the event of a food-borne pathogen outbreak. We also participate in a variety of special assignments and research and development projects, both guided by the FDA and independently.