The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that sufficient laboratory capacity has been reached for certain import-related food testing, specifically for mycotoxins, under the Laboratory Accreditation for Analyses of Foods (LAAF) program.

FDA established the LAAF program to improve the accuracy and reliability of certain food testing through the uniformity of standards and enhanced FDA oversight of participating laboratories. Under the program, owners and consignees of certain foods are required to use LAAF-accredited laboratories for certain types of covered testing, such as to support removal of a food from import alert or to address specific food safety issues. However, FDA specified that it would not require use of these LAAF-laboratories until sufficient capacity of laboratories capable of such testing was reached.

As of March 31, 2024, FDA has determined there is sufficient LAAF laboratory testing capacity for mycotoxins analyses. Owners and consignees of imported food subject to the LAAF regulation must use a LAAF-accredited laboratory to conduct covered import-related food testing beginning December 1, 2024.    

As additional analyte capacity for import-related food testing is reached, those analyte groups will be added to the LAAF Dashboard, with the compliance date set at six months from the date a specific analyte is posted onto the dashboard. The LAAF Dashboard also provides information on recognized accreditation bodies and LAAF-accredited laboratories, and their locations, scopes of accreditation, analytes, and methods.

FDA has not yet made a capacity determination for the other food testing circumstances covered by the LAAF regulation. The agency will publish additional notices in the Federal Register when the LAAF program attains sufficient laboratory capacity to support other food testing circumstances as described in the Code of Federal Regulations (specifically, 21 CFR 1.1107 [a]1-3).