Q Laboratories (Cincinnati, OH) is the first United States-based laboratory to have Norovirus and Hepatitis A testing in food, water and environmental samples listed on their ISO 17025 Scope of Accredited Methods. An A2LA Assessor was onsite at Q Laboratories on June 15 to evaluate the rapid, qualitative methods and facilities used to screen for the viruses. Based on this assessment, the methods were approved for Q Laboratories’ Scope of Accreditation.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Norovirus causes 19–21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis, leads to 1.7–1.9 million outpatient visits and 400,000 emergency department visits, primarily in young children, and contributes to about 56,000–71,000 hospitalizations and 570-800 deaths, mostly among young children and the elderly. Hepatitis A causes approximately 1400 illnesses per 100,000 people annually in the US, according to CDC statistics.
Foods commonly associated with Norovirus and Hepatitis A contamination are raw seafood, fresh produce, and other ready-to-eat products. Process water is also frequently the cause of contamination.
Founded in 1966, Q Laboratories provides microbiology, analytical chemistry, and research & development laboratory services to companies in the food, pet food, and dietary supplement industries. The lab offers a wide range of quality control services for manufacturers and distributors, including pathogen detection, environmental monitoring programs, allergen screening, shelf-life determination and nutritional analysis.