FSIS FERN Cooperative Agreement Program

Active
No
Status
Posted
Published Date
March 14th, 2024
Close Date
April 22nd, 2024
Total Funding
$1,985,000.00
Award Ceiling
$246,875.00
Award Floor
$230,000.00
Expected No. Awards
8
Opportunity No.
FSIS-03142024

Agency

Food Safety Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS)

Eligible Applicants

Others

Funding Category

Agriculture

Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Summary

The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) is seeking to award new cooperative agreements for the FSIS FERN Cooperative Agreement Program. This program aims to provide surge capacity and capability for food defense and food safety testing to FSIS. The agreements will enhance the ability to analyze meat, poultry, and meat and egg products for microbiological, chemical, and radiological agents. They will also support the FERN program testing initiatives, method proficiency training, method-required supply and equipment purchases, and reimbursement of personnel expenses. The FSIS FERN CAP laboratories will test FSIS regulated products in various food defense and food safety activities, providing additional testing capacity and capability to the FSIS Field Service Laboratories. These activities support FSIS's mission to protect the public's health by ensuring the safety, wholesomeness, and proper labeling of meat, poultry, and egg products. The selected laboratories will be involved in ongoing testing, method development, method validation, and special directed projects that meet FSIS data gathering needs. Quick response and a wide range of capabilities are preferred for these activities.

Description

The Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) currently comprises federal, state, and local government regulatory laboratories with varying capacities to perform threat agent testing. The Contaminants and Threat Agents Group (CTAG) within the Laboratory Quality Assurance, Response and Coordination Staff (LQARCS) in USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is seeking to award new cooperative agreements thereby continuing its program of providing surge capacity and capability for food defense and food safety testing to FSIS. The agreements enhance the ability to analyze meat, poultry, and meat and egg products for microbiological, chemical, and radiological agents utilizing approved FERN methods to improve laboratory capacities for food defense initiatives, outbreak response, and other food testing projects. The agreements support the FERN program testing initiatives, method proficiency training, method-required supply and equipment purchases, and reimbursement of personnel expenses. All cooperative agreements are awarded yearly and part of a 5-year cycle. This announcement will constitute the 1st year of a 5-year cycle. Yearly awards are contingent upon continued Agency funding and a review of each laboratory participant’s past performance where possible. The FSIS FERN CAP laboratories will test FSIS regulated products in a variety of food defense and food safety activities providing additional meat, poultry, and meat and egg products testing capacity and capability to the FSIS Field Service Laboratories. These activities support FSIS’s mission to protect the public's health by ensuring that meat, poultry and egg products are safe, wholesome and properly labeled. The FERN CAP initiatives allow the selected laboratories to provide surge capacity and special project testing for food defense and food safety topics. Laboratories will be involved in on-going testing of meat matrices for food safety and food defense analytes, method development, method validation, and special directed projects that meet FSIS data gathering needs. Long term planning is not always possible for these activities, so laboratories with the capability to respond quickly and with the greatest variety of capabilities are preferred.

Contact Information

Attachments
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Opportunity Lifecycle

Title
Type
Grant