Changes to Accreditation of Non-Federal Analytical Testing Laboratories
FSIS is proposing to revise the regulations prescribing the statistical [[Page 80669]] methods used in measuring the performance of chemistry laboratories in its voluntary Accredited Laboratory Program (ALP) and to expand the scope of accreditations offered by the program. Currently, participants in the ALP are accredited for the analysis of food chemistry (moisture, protein, fat, and salt), specific chemical residues, and classes of chemical residues. FSIS is proposing to change the statistical method it uses to evaluate laboratory proficiency testing (PT) sample results to the z score approach for those accreditations that are currently evaluated by Cumulative Summation (CUSUM). FSIS also is proposing to accredit non-Federal laboratories for microbiological indicator organisms and pathogen testing, in response to industry interest. Additionally, the Agency is proposing to make various minor edits and changes to the regulation for the sake of clarity and to incorporate all sample types under the jurisdiction of FSIS (e.g., to include egg products), as appropriate for the associated analyte, and to improve program flexibility. Improving program flexibility includes updating definitions to remove specific references that are currently limiting the program.