March 18, 2020

Updated May 12, 2020

To our AOAC Members and Community,

As public health measures take effect in the United States and around the world, many normal business operations are being impacted. You may have questions about the status of AOAC’s operations that affect you or your business. We hope the following status report will be helpful. This information will be updated as the situation evolves.

AOAC Executive Director Dave Schmidt on March 16 encouraged state, local, and federal authorities to ensure mobility and access to personnel in public and private testing labs to ensure food safety and public health. Read the letter >

Events

AOAC will confirm plans for the 2020 Annual Meeting & Exposition during its June 9-10, 2020 Board of Directors virtual meeting and will provide any updates to the membership soon thereafter. For now, AOAC plans to move forward with the scientific program, whether in-person or virtual formats. The early deadline for poster abstracts for inclusion in the Preliminary Program has been extended to Thursday, June 18, 2020, 11:59pm EDT. For more information regarding poster abstract submission, please visit https://www.aoac.org/2020-annual-meeting-call-for-posters/

The AOAC Midyear Meeting was held the week of March 9-13, 2020 following extensive evaluation of risk versus the benefit of continuing the important analytical science work carried out during the meeting. While a number of attendees and presenters participated remotely, the meeting program was largely unaffected and the goals of the meeting were met.

AOAC’s third Analytical Methods Week, held the week of April 20-24, 2020, delivered First Action Official Method of AnalysisSM approval for eagerly awaited methods for cannabinoids in hemp, flavanols in chocolate, and veterinary drug residues in a broad variety of foods. The next Analytical Methods Week is planned for the week of June 22-26, 2020.

Business Operations

AOAC has implemented a policy of telework for staff working in the Rockville, Maryland office, which will remain in effect until at least June 1. Normal business operations including meetings, communications, and standards development are continuing as usual via remote technology such as conference calls and project management platforms. Email and calls to our main line (301/924-7077) are being continuously monitored.

Standards and Official Methods

AOAC expects these critical areas of work to continue through remote technology, which is already a well-established part of our Standards and Official Methods infrastructure. However, some delays are to be expected in the short term as contributing scientists and businesses focus on adapting their operations to the immediate impact of the public health situation. If you have any specific issues please contact Deborah McKenzie, Senior Director of Standards. ([email protected])

Proficiency Testing

AOAC has been able to ship proficiency testing samples.  Samples were shipped for the M01, M08, and M09 Programs on April 20, 2020.

AOAC will continue to monitor the impact of coronavirus-related business closures, border closures, and other public health measures that may have an impact on shipping, laboratory operations, or other aspects of the Proficiency Testing process. Please contact Arlene Fox, Senior Director of Proficiency Testing, ([email protected]) if you are experiencing an issue.

Performance Tested Methods

The AOAC Research Institute and Performance Tested Methods program are functioning normally via telephone, video conferencing, and electronic communications. Please contact Scott Coates, Senior Director of the AOAC Research Institute, ([email protected]) with any questions or issues.