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Atlanta Human and Animal Food Laboratory (ATLHAF)

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Program Capabilities


Atlanta Human and Animal Food Laboratory's (ATLHAF) Chemistry Laboratory has three supervisory groups with analytical capabilities in chemotherapeutics (i.e., drug residue detections) in products of animal origin.  These include residues in seafood, honey, and milk.  In addition, the lab analyzes food to detect mycotoxins (e.g., fumonisins, aflatoxins, patulin, ochratoxin, vomitoxin), food and color additives, filth and sanitation (entomology/insect parts), and performs sensory analyses to detect decomposition as well as chemical analyses to detect indices of decomposition in seafood.


ATLHAF’s Microbiology Laboratory has four supervisory groups equipped to perform the full range of microbiological analyses on products regulated by FDA:  food, drugs, cosmetics, feed, and medical devices.  Areas of analytical expertise include pathogens, parasitology, molecular biology, virus detection, bacterial toxins, and canned seam analysis. ATLHAF has capabilities in pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), and whole genome sequencing.  The ATLHAF Microbiology Branch is the national servicing laboratory for microbiological testing of infant formula.  In addition, this branch performs allergen testing (e.g., milk, nut, gluten allergens), as well as addresses consumer complaints.

Specialized Capabilities

Nutrient Analysis

ATLHAF is the home of the Nutrient Analysis Branch (NAB), with three supervisory groups.  NAB is the national servicing laboratory for nutrient analysis of domestic and imported foods that bear nutrition labeling.  Products analyzed include general foods, infant formula, medical foods and dietary supplements.  NAB performs nutritional label reviews as well as full label analysis including but not limited to calories, fat, vitamins, amino acids, sugars, and nutritional metals (e.g., sodium, potassium, selenium).  A typical infant formula analysis includes more than 30 different tests.  In addition, NAB performs testing for toxic elements in food and foodware (e.g., lead, calcium, arsenic); economic fraud, and addresses consumer complaints.  NAB employs both chemical and microbiological assays for nutrient determinations.


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