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New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory wins "Nation's Healthiest Lab Award"

ALBANY – The New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory, which protects New Yorkers from food borne pathogens and illnesses, has been awarded the “Nation’s Healthiest Lab Award” by the Association of Public Health Laboratories. The award celebrates excellence in environmental stewardship and health promotion in both practice and policy, and recognizes the laboratory that demonstrates outstanding efforts to reduce its collective environmental impact and ensure a healthy workplace.

“The New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory is one of the finest public laboratories of its kind in the country, and we are pleased that it’s being recognized for its commitment to promoting environmental stewardship and a healthy workplace,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo. “This state-of-the-art laboratory performs a vital public service by helping ensure a safe food supply for all New Yorkers, and receiving this award is a great achievement for the team at this facility.”

The award was presented based on a self-assessment checklist, which was developed as an evaluation tool to identify environmental responsibility and healthy workplace practices within member laboratories. The self-assessment fields included three main areas of focus within the laboratory framework: health promotion, environmental sustainability and policy implementation. The awards committee at the Association of Public Health Laboratories reviewed the surveys and determined that the New York State Food Safety and Metrology Laboratory was this year’s winner based on the scores compiled in its checklist. Most of the points were related to environmental sustainability.

The goals of the healthiest laboratory initiative are to foster healthy personal choices for employees, members and guests; environmental sustainability; initiatives related to promoting a prevention-focused perspective on health; and a role in engaging the broader laboratory community.

This state-of-the-art laboratory, located in Albany and operated by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, protects New Yorkers from food borne pathogens and illnesses by analyzing over 20,000 food and beverage samples per year for biological and chemical hazards, standards of identity, and compliance with state and federal regulations. The facility also safely stores and maintains the State’s primary standards of mass, length, temperature and volume, which in turn are used to test commercial weighing and measuring devices such as scales in grocery stores, pumps at gas stations, meters on fuel oil or propane delivery vehicles, and meters in taxicabs.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “This is a first rate laboratory that will serve New Yorkers for generations.  Our staff in the Food and Metrology Laboratory couldn’t be prouder to be working in such a top notch laboratory that is now being recognized as one of the finest of its kind in the country.  It’s a tremendous honor for us to be acknowledged on a national scale.”