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State of Alaska > DEC > EH > Laboratory Services > Lab Sample Submission Manual Introduction  

Lab Sample Submission Manual Introduction
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Food Safety and Animal Health for the 21st Century

On September 2, 2005 the State of Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation officially dedicated the Environmental Health Laboratory, a state-of-the-art 20,000 square foot facility dedicated exclusively to food safety and animal health.

After successfully serving the public for over 30 years in Palmer, the State Legislature determined in 2002 that the public would be best served by upgrading to a modern 21st century facility. New technologies and new threats to public health drove the decision to move. A site directly adjacent to the State’s new Public Health Laboratory was chosen to maximize efficiency and allow for collaboration between scientists in both organizations.

Ground breaking for the new facility took place in the spring of 2004. After nearly 18 months of construction the new facility was ready and the first group of scientists began the process of relocating from Palmer to their new home in Anchorage.

In addition to housing the laboratory staff the new facility is the new home of the Office of the State Veterinarian. The new laboratory incorporates an advanced necropsy facility that enables the State Veterinarian to perform detailed examinations of animals in a controlled environment. With immediate access to advanced testing equipment and laboratory scientists the State Veterinarian is able to provide a higher than ever level of customer service.


EHL is the principle State agency responsible for regulatory analyses of ready to eat foods, shellfish, finfish, dairy, environmental samples, marine toxins, and marine waters. EHL is accredited by and subject to regular audits by agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture. EHL is also an accredited member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN).

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Routinely demonstrating proficiency is a critical aspect of EHL’s rigorous QA program. EHL scientists routinely analyze performance evaluation samples submitted by various federal agencies to maintain certifications and ensure test results meet the highest standards of accuracy and precision.

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