What We Do
We provide forensic agricultural laboratory testing, certification and training services to various regulatory divisions of the Department and others as provided by law. To accomplish this mission, the laboratory has two sections, Food Safety and Chemistry.
Food Safety Services
- Dairy Product Quality - Tests dairy products to assist regulators in enforcing quality standards.
- Entomology - Provides limited insect identifications to assist in preventing harmful pests from becoming established in Arizona.
- Food Safety & Meat Microbiology - Tests meat, ready to eat products and other commodities for bacterial contamination.
- Plant Pathology - Provides DNA-based plant disease identification aiding in the prevention and remediation of plant disease outbreaks.
- Seed Quality - Tests commercial seed properties to assure consumers are getting label guaranteed quality.
- Feed and Fertilizer Products - Tests retail and agricultural products to determine compliance with label guarantees.
- Natural Toxin Residue - Tests human and animal feed products for the presence of naturally occurring chemicals capable of causing illness.
- Pesticide Formulations - Determines compliance of pesticide products truth in labeling through the analysis of retail and restricted use pesticides.
- Forensic Analysis - Analyzes samples collected during investigations for regulatory enforcement.
The State Agricultural Laboratory provides for the mandatory certification of laboratories providing agricultural laboratory services to agencies and departments of this state or its political subdivisions, including those laboratories that are a part of a state agency or department or a political subdivision of this state. You can see a list of currently certified labs here: SAL Certified Labs
Scientists from the State Agricultural Laboratory (SAL) are certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as Laboratory Evaluation Officers (LEOs). As such they provide FDA mandated audits and inspections of dairy testing laboratories which provide certain types of testing. When compliance is reached, the laboratories achieve Approved status for such testing. You can see a list of all labs which are currently approved by the SAL LEOs here: SAL Approved Labs
The State Agricultural Laboratory is certified by the Association of Official Seed Analysts (AOSA) for the provision of seed testing services. We currently provide seed testing when it is necessary for the export of seed products. For more information or to see if we can accommodate your seed testing needs, contact David Mills at 602.744.4915. Our current price list can be found here:
Who We Are
Laboratory Director: Doug Marsh
Laboratory Business Manager: Lynn Korn
Quality Assurance Manager: Dominique Ramirez
Food Safety Section Manager: David Mills
Chemistry Section Manager: Theresa Crisostomo
AZDA Science Photo of the Month
SAL scientists pipette samples into beakers during a test procedure. A pipette (also spelled pipet) is a commonly used laboratory tool for measuring and delivering an accurate and precise volume of liquid. Pipettes come in several designs for particular purposes and have known levels of accuracy and precision. These necessary tools vary from single piece glass pipettes (pictured below) to more complex adjustable pipettes capable of delivering the liquid in many ways. Learning to choose the correct pipette for a particular application and to skillfully calibrate and utilize the chosen device are critical skills for the scientists at the State Agricultural Laboratory.
(Photo by Paul Cook)