The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS) will begin assisting the federal government with the testing of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
CAHFS Assists with Gulf of Mexico Seafood Testing
The California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS) will begin assisting the federal government with the testing of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill for contamination by petroleum- based chemicals, including some that have the potential to cause cancer in people.
The lab is one of only eight labs throughout the nation that has been selected and equipped for this seafood testing program, which should help detect any potential health problems posed by oil-contaminated seafood. The testing may also help in identifying which fisheries have not been contaminated so that those areas can be reopened for fishing.
CAHFS was selected to participate in this program because it is part of the Food Emergency Response Network, a group of local, state and federal laboratories that are equipped to test for food contamination. In preparation, the laboratory has received equipment valued at roughly $140,000 to complement its existing diagnostic equipment. The new equipment was provided by the Food and Drug Administration, which is coordinating the testing program in collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The lab will be receiving finfish, crabs, oysters and shrimp and will report test results to the Food and Drug Administration.