The Institute for Food Safety and Health (formerly National Center for Food Safety and Technology (NCFST), Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), has achieved certification of the institute’s Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3) laboratory and biocontainment pilot plant. The laboratory certification audit was conducted in October, and the official certificate was issued by World BioHazTec Corp. on Nov. 30, 2010.
The certification acknowledges that the facility meets the Centers for Disease Control/National Institutes of Health (CDC/NIH) Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories Guidelines (5th ed.). Construction of the 7,000-sq.-ft. BSL-3 facility was completed in 2008, and the facility was commissioned in 2009. BSL-3 facilities allow for safe and secure work with bacterial, viral and parasitic agents that may cause serious or potentially lethal disease to humans.
The BSL-3 facility consists of a laboratory and pilot plant in which collaborative and contract research and validation of processes can be conducted by simulating real-world applications using large-scale processing equipment and larger volumes of microorganisms. The facility has been conducting research with nonpathogenic surrogates and BSL-2 organisms using BSL-3 procedures to allow for standard operating procedures and emergency response plans to be thoroughly validated and tested prior to certification and registration for use with select agents, and large quantities of BSL-2 and BSL-3 organisms.