FERN Chemistry

The Hygienic Laboratory is part of the Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) network of laboratories known as FERN (Food Emergency Response Network). FERN provides national surveillance to help detect threats to the American food supply. The Hygienic Lab is a FERN-member laboratory for all three disciplines (chemistry, microbiology and radiochemistry) and receives funding from FERN's Cooperative Agreement Program for chemical and microbiological response.

Steve Treimer, Ph.D., environmental lab scientist, examines a meat sample for the presence of chemical contaminants as part of the Food Emergency Response Network surveillance exercise.

As a member of FERN, the Hygienic Laboratory Chemistry team participates in surveillance and proficiency testing exercises that help train and prepare staff for responding to an actual food emergency in Iowa.

FY13 achievements: