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Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services


The Food, Feed and Fertilizer (FFF) Section at DCLS performs testing to ensure that the citizens of the Commonwealth are protected from possible health hazards and fraudulent and/or potentially dangerous products when they buy items sold or distributed within Virginia.

FFF scientists provide laboratory testing to support state agencies in the monitoring of regulated animal feeds, fertilizers, and limestone to ensure quality and accuracy of product label claims, sometimes referred to as "truth in labeling" for Virginia consumers. This involves performing laboratory testing of products awaiting sale for labeled nutrient guarantees such as:

  • protein
  • fat
  • fiber
  • animal remedies (amprolium, decoquinate, lasalocid)
  • toxins (deoxynivalenol and fumonisins)
  • nitrogen
  • phosphorus
  • potash
  • boron
  • chlorine
  • sulfur content


The Food Chemistry section of the FFF Group provides laboratory testing to ensure the quality and safety of foods we eat. This may include testing for:

  • toxins (i.e. aflatoxins and histamine)
  • pH water activity
  • sulfites
  • speciation of meats
  • confirming honey and syrup authenticity

Food samples in this group also can be received under legal custody from law enforcement so DCLS can test for possible adulteration and/or tampering of the food product or commodity. Other testing activities include the microscopic examination of food samples for the presence and quantitation of filth (hairs, insects, rodent droppings, glass, fibers, etc.) which could render the foods inadequate for human consumption. Scientists in this group often are asked to testify in court as expert witnesses in order to defend the laboratory test results, especially in cases of adulteration or tampering. The testing results in this area are important to assuring the safety of our food supply regardless of whether the contamination has occurred naturally or intentionally.