FDA Consumer Health
FDA Food Saftey
Food Safety Recalls
Welcome to eLEXNET
As part of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed by President Obama on January 4th, 2011, FDA's approach to food-borne illness is shifting from post-outbreak reaction, to early detection and prevention of contamination. As part of this new effort eLEXNET becomes the central food testing repository that will allow for the sharing of food testing data among various government agencies in a timely manner. This effort will provide a key tool in early detection of food related outbreaks.
The Electronic Laboratory Exchange Network (eLEXNET) is an integrated, secure network that allows multiple government agencies engaged in food safety activities to compare, communicate, and coordinate findings of laboratory analyses. eLEXNET enables health officials to assess risks, analyze trends and provides the necessary infrastructure for an early-warning system that identifies potentially hazardous foods. eLEXNET is a program funded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The eLEXNET project received the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Award from Secretary Tommy G. Thompson in June 2001, "For outstanding contributions to the successful development of the first electronic network to exchange laboratory data among federal, state, and local food safety agencies."
The goal of eLEXNET is to improve food safety analyses by:
- Streamlining and improving food safety testing efforts through increased data sharing and collaboration
- Enhancing communication and collaboration among food safety agencies so that they can more easily perform risk assessment analysis and locate problem products
- Involving Federal, state, and local food safety partners in forming standards food safety data elements, test methods, data sharing and electronic data submission
- Disseminating information on the effectiveness of food-related test methods.
What does eLEXNET do?
eLEXNET currently allows food safety laboratories at all levels of government to share real-time food safety sample and analysis data on selected microbiological, chemical and radiological analytes that could endanger the food supply and environment, such as pesticides, naturally-occurring toxins, mycotoxins, and toxic/radioactive elements. Participants may access eLEXNET via password-protected user accounts on the internet and view food sample and analysis data from all participating laboratories, using standard query and reporting tools. Laboratories submit their data to eLEXNET electronically in two ways. Laboratories with electronic information system repositories, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, submit their data electronically in predefined Extensible Markup Language (XML) format. Laboratories that do not have their own electronic data repositories or that do not choose to extract data directly from these repositories submit their sample and test data for the analytes of concern directly into eLEXNET using a web-based data entry utility.
Benefits of eLEXNET
eLEXNET can provide numerous benefits to the nation's food safety regulatory professionals, ranging from laboratory directors, analysts and food inspectors, to regulatory scientists, policy analysts, and risk assessors.
Among the benefits are:
- Real-time access to food sample and laboratory analysis data.
- Food safety reporting and analysis tools.
- An online forum fostering collaboration among food safety professionals across the U.S.