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Consumer Protection Lab


Mission and Operating Philosophy

The mission of the Consumer Analytical Laboratory is to provide chemistry and microbiological analytical services to support the Ohio Department of Agriculture divisions of dairy, meat inspection, food safety, plant industry and animal industry. The CPL also provides analytical services to federal partners in programs sponsored by the USDA, FDA and USEPA, and also a variety of state agencies for outbreak investigations, and consumer complaints. The CPL is an active member of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) and the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) to help assure the safety of Ohio's food supply and offer surge capacity for the Ohio Department of Health in the event of an outbreak investigation or bioterrorism event. Analytical services are also available for private individuals and industries.



A photo of a sprayer in the field
The CPL Pesticides Section offers residue studies on a wide variety of samples such as fruits and vegetables, water, soil, plant and animal tissue, clothing articles and air to determine pesticide misuse or other forms of contamination. It also offers formulation studies on a variety of samples ranging from insect/plant spray and rodent poison in order to determine if the active ingredients meet label claims.

Pesticide Data Program (PD

The Pesticide Data Program (PDP) is a national pesticide residue monitoring program and produces the most comprehensive pesticide residue database in the U.S. The Monitoring Programs Division administers PDP activities, including the sampling, testing, and reporting of pesticide residues on agricultural commodities in the U.S. food supply, with an emphasis on those commodities highly consumed by infants and children.

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)

The primary objective of FIFRA is to ensure that, when applied as instructed, pesticides will not generally cause unreasonable risk to human health or the environment. To reach this objective, FIFRA includes provisions that require EPA to establish several programs. Below is a summary of those programs.

Analytical Toxicology Laboratory

The Analytical Toxicology Laboratory (ATL) has been the official drug testing laboratory for the Ohio State Racing Commission, for more than 40 years. Equine samples are typically received from Ohio's seven commercial race tracks as well as state-wide County Fairs that host racing and pari-mutuel wagering.


Available Testing/Services:

The ATL utilizes a variety of state-of-the-art methods and technologies involving predominantly mass spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS) and immunochemistry.

  • Broad Range Drug Testing According to State Racing Commission Medication Rules
  • Livestock Drug Testing for Exhibition Fairs
  • Animal Competition Drug Testing (e.g. Horse Pulls)
  • Unknown Substances / Paraphernalia for Drug Analysis

Accreditation/Quality Assurance/Memberships:

In 2010, the ATL became accredited according to ISO 17025 standards by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for "Animal Drug Testing". ISO 17025 accreditation is considered internationally as the "gold standard" for technical competence and operation of a laboratory quality system. In 2014, a second level of accreditation for equine drug testing was achieved by ATL., as it became the third laboratory in the US to receive accreditation from the Racing medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC). As of September 2017, there are only 9 laboratories in the US that are accredited by RMTC.

Annually, the ATL participated in proficiency testing programs from the RMTC and the Association of Official Racing Chemists (AORC), as well as maintaining an Internal Blind Sample Quality Assurance Program.


ATL Sample Submission Form for Elective Testing

General Chemistry

A photo of a bag of animal feed

CPL General Chemistry section offers a variety of testing on animal feeds, food, fertilizer, lime, meat, dairy and water samples. Examples of tests performed are fat, moisture, protein, salt, fiber, minerals, Vitamin A, antibiotics in animal feeds and compliance testing against label claims. It also provides testing for performance enhancing drugs for Ohio's Fair Exhibition Program.

The General Chemistry Laboratory section is equipped to provide prompt and accurate testing of various agricultural matrices for regulatory compliance and consumer protection.

We are entrusted with the extensive analyses of animal feed (both livestock and pet foods), fertilizers, agricultural limes, meat, and dairy products, as well as food safety samples.

The General Chemistry Laboratory Section also provides the required testing to support the annual Livestock Exhibition events (county fairs, state fair, etc.) in the state of Ohio. We also provide testing for some others states' events as well.

Analyses are performed following approved and validated methodologies from recognized bodies such as the Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) and The Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry, among others.

Our testing capabilities are extended as fee based services to consumers, in state producers, and the general public of the state of Ohio.


The CPL is an active member of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)

Available Testing/Services:

Animal Feed Testing

A minimum of 3 pounds

Dog Treat Testing

A minimum of one pound

Fertilizers and Lime material

4 to 5 pounds for dry fertilizers and at least 12 ounces for liquid fertilizers

Accreditation/Quality Assurance/Memberships:

In 2009 the laboratory received ISO 17025 accreditation from American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) for testing residue level chemicals in foods.

Our testing is closely monitored for accuracy by our membership to well know check sample programs such as USDA/Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and the Magruder fertilizer check sample program.


CPL Sample Submission Form


CPL microbiology section offers testing on a wide variety of samples including dairy products, processed meat products, fruits and vegetables, drinking water for bacteria that cause food borne illness.

The mission of the Microbiology Section of the Consumer Protection Laboratory is to provide testing services for ODA's Divisions of Meat Inspection, Dairy, Food Safety, USDA, FDA, and EPA through the examination of regulatory, surveillance, and outbreak related samples for pathogenic bacteria. The Microbiology Section also provides testing services to the citizens of Ohio in consumer complaint cases.


The CPL is an active member of the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN)

Available Testing/Services:

Meat Testing:

The Microbiology section tests samples collected by the regulatory Division of Meat Inspection for microorganisms such as Salmonella sp., Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli O157: H7 and other pathogens. Samples include raw or processed meat samples, Poultry samples, Egg products, environmental swabs.

Food Testing:

The Microbiology section tests samples collected by the regulatory Division of Food Safety for microorganisms such as Salmonella sp., Listeria monocytogenes, E.coli O157: H7 and other pathogens. Samples include Ready to Eat Foods (RTE), Vegetables and fruits, Canned foods, Bottled water, Deli salads and sandwiches, outbreak related product testing etc.

Dairy Food Testing:

The Microbiology section tests samples collected by the regulatory Dairy Division for microorganisms such as Coliforms and tested for low levels of antibiotics and other inhibitory substances. Samples include raw milk, pasteurized milk, dairy products, Fermented dairy products.

Accreditation/Quality Assurance/Memberships:

In 2011 the laboratory received A2LA ISO accreditation for its microbiological testing in meat and meat products.


CPL Sample Submission Form