The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has issued revisions to a final rule, Changes to Accreditation of Non-Federal Analytical Testing Laboratories, expanding the scope of accreditations offered by the agency’s voluntary Accredited Laboratory Program (ALP) to encompass microbial indicator organisms, pathogen testing, and additional chemical residue testing. The rule also revises the statistical method that FSIS uses to evaluate ALP’s laboratory proficiency testing, as well as includes various updates that provide clarity and incorporate all sample types under the jurisdiction of FSIS.

ALP is a voluntary program through which FSIS accredits non-federal analytical laboratories to conduct analyses of official meat and poultry samples for food chemistry, specific chemical residues, classes of chemical residues, and now, specified microbiological organisms. ALP-accredited laboratories are monitored by FSIS to ensure that they are capable of producing reliable results, and are tested through the program’s proficiency testing.

The rule will become effective on October 24, 2022.