The Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) currently comprises federal, state, and local government regulatory laboratories with varying capacities to perform threat agent testing.
The FERN division in USDAs Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is seeking to award up to 25 cooperative
agreements targeting state, local, and tribal FERN labs to augment threat agent testing capacities and expand the number of member laboratories able to perform threat agent testing for the Network.
The agreements will enhance the ability to analyze for microbiological and chemical threat agents utilizing FERN methods and improve laboratory capacities for food defense assignments and outbreak response.
The agreements will support FERN threat agent method training, the purchase of equipment and supplies required by the selected methods, and reimbursement of personnel expenses.
These CAP awards are for the purpose of enhancing and expanding the capacity and capability of the participating laboratories to be able to analyze various food matrices for microbiological and chemical threat agents to quickly and accurately respond to any potential threats to the nations food supply.