APHL promotes the role of state and local public health laboratories and agricultural laboratories in the detection and characterization of foodborne pathogens. APHL works with member laboratories to ensure robust surveillance and outbreak detection and prevention activities. APHL advances laboratory practice by:
- Increasing the competence of laboratory staff
- Improving the capabilities of member laboratories
- Strengthening the defensibility of results
APHL achieves these goals by working with federal partners at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service.
Supporting Molecular Surveillance for Enteric Diseases
APHL supports members who participate in PulseNet, CaliciNet and CryptoNet to ensure robust surveillance of key foodborne pathogens.
For more than 20 years, PulseNet has revolutionized foodborne outbreak investigations with a high return on investment. APHL builds capacity in laboratories submitting timely, high-quality data to the PulseNet National Databases and is helping the network move efficiently to next generation methods. APHL also supports international laboratories with implementing PulseNet worldwide.
Similarly, APHL promotes GenomeTrakr through trainings, technical meetings and information dissemination. GenomeTrakr enables laboratories to compare genetic and geographic data from illness-causing organisms in food and the environment, helping to detect problems in the food supply,
Improving Foodborne Outbreak Investigations
Working through the
Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR), APHL maintains a strong role in enhancing communication and collaboration across the disciplines involved in investigating foodborne illness outbreaks. APHL has led the production of several tools and resources, including the
OUE Guidelines and Food Safety Programs Reference Guide.
Enabling Defensible, High-Quality Data
APHL and our members recognize that for laboratory data to fulfill its purpose, it must inform regulatory policy and actions, be viewed in the context of on-going disease, and be available as the basis for population-based burden of illness studies and trends analysis. APHL has led the development of several resources intended to support the defensibility of laboratory data:
Providing Career-spanning Training
APHL is working with FDA's Office of Training Education and Development and a team of subject matter experts (SMEs) to build a competency-based curriculum framework for human and animal food laboratory professionals. The framework spans five professional levels (from entry to senior administration) and depicts the content areas in which laboratory professionals must posses competencies in order to successfully perform their job functions.
Competency-based training courses are currently in development to complement the curriculum framework. These courses can be found on APHL's Training Portal.