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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Science & Research

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Pacific Regional Lab Southwest (PRL-SW)


FY10 Analysts On-Board: 77
FY 10 Samples Analyzed: 7,370
Program Capabilities
PRL-SW is a multi-functional Regional Laboratory performing Import and Domestic work predominantly in the Foods, Drugs, Cosmetics, Veterinary Feeds, and Medical Devices program areas.
Chemistry analytical capabilities include rapid, high throughput Pesticides/Industrial Chemical product analyses (Melamine in human and pet foods/diethylene glycol in toothpaste); Filth & Sanitation analyses in Food and Drug products and BSE in Feeds; analysis of Chemotherapeutics in Seafoods (Nitrofurans, Fluoroquinolones, dyes); Chemical indices of decomposition (Histamine/other biogenic amines), Organoleptic screening of Seafoods for economic adulteration; analysis of heavy metals in flatware; allergen testing in foods; complete drug product chemical analysis capabilities (active pharmaceutical identity, potency, content uniformity, impurities, and dissolution testing); rapid GC/MS and LC/MS analysis (DART-MS of Dietary Supplements/Herbal Products, poison screens for FERN).
Microbiological analytical capabilities include high-volume/throughput general Microbiological testing of foods, drugs, devices, feeds, and cosmetics, Low Acid Canned Foods analysis and canned seam analysis. The laboratory is certified for PFGE analysis of Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli pathogens and actively collaborates with CFSAN, CDC and national PulseNet working groups.  The laboratory is also actively involved with....
  • Developing molecular-based regulatory methodology including unique qPCR reagents for the detection and characterization of critical food borne illness pathogens: Salmonella, Shigella, E. coli O157:H7, Mycobacterium bovis/tuberculosis, as well as Hepatitis A and Norovirus,
  • Genetic sequencing initiatives in support of regulatory pathogen identification in foods and cosmetics,
  • Advanced technology evaluation and method development utilizing PlexIDPCR/MS with BioInformatics for identification of unknown pathogens involved in food borne illness.
Engineering analytical/testing capabilities include high throughput Condom & Surgical Gloves Integrity testing. 
Domestic/Foreign Inspectional Support: PRLSW has a strong history/performance of analyst participation and support to Domestic and Foreign inspections in the Foods, Human and Veterinary Drugs, Medical Devices and Biologics program areas.
Specialized Capabilities
Center of Excellence – Entomological basis of Filth & Sanitation
Center of Excellence - Regulatory Mass Spectrometry
Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) Laboratory for High-Risk Pathogens/Select Agent Program
Emerging Center of Excellence – Regulatory Molecular Microbiology & Virology