APHL promotes the role of state and local public health laboratories and agricultural laboratories in the detection, testing, and surveillance of foodborne pathogens. APHL advances laboratory practice by increasing the competence of laboratory staff, improving the capabilities of member laboratories, and strengthening the credibility of results generated by food testing laboratories.


Molecular Surveillance for Enteric Diseases

APHL promotes PulseNet laboratories in submitting timely, high-quality data to the PulseNet National Databases and is helping the network move efficiently to next generation methods. Over a 20 year history, PulseNet has revolutionized foodborne outbreak investigations with a very high return on investment, as shown in a paper released in 2016.

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 illnesses. During the first 10 years for CIFOR, APHL led the production of several tools and resources, including the OUE Guidelines, Lab-Epi Reporting Software and the CIFOR Metrics Report.

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. We support our members that are seeking to achieve, maintain or enhance accreditation to the ISO 17025 standard, including comprehensive training and a resource site with over 200 upload


APHL collaborates with federal partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the United States Department of Agriculture-Food Safety Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration. The association also works very closely with the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne and Environmental Diseases within CDC, among many partners across the agency.

APHL is an active member of the Council to Improve Foodborne Outbreak Response (CIFOR), which integrates local, state and federal efforts across many food safety disciplines to reduce the burden of foodborne illness in the United States. Three federal agencies and 12 national associations sit on the CIFOR Council, which interacts with the regulated industry through workgroups and projects.

APHL is working with the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to strengthen and integrate food and feed testing laboratories. This effort is supported by a five-year cooperative agreement from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to advance the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).