CIL is a full Service food testing laboratory operated by the Food Safety Department of the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA).
CIL provides the laboratory support to BAHA’s food safety program by analyzing foods through chemical, microbiological and physical methods in order to verify the absence of pathogens and contaminants, and to ensure conformance with standards of quality and safety. This support is vital in order to guarantee a safe and wholesome food supply locally and internationally.
CIL is comprised of a Chemical Analysis laboratory, a Chemical Screening Laboratory and a Food Microbiology Laboratory.
The Chemical Analysis Laboratory is equipped with various Gas Chromatographs and a Liquid Chromatographs for the analysis of Pesticide Residues and Mycotoxins in food samples, and an Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrophotometry for analysis of Heavy metals in food, nutrient composition of soil.
The Chemical Screening Laboratory carries out bioassay for qualitative analysis of pesticide levels in fruits and vegetables, and is part of a pilot project to recognize local farmers for Good Pesticide Management Practices. The screening laboratory is also equipped with a CHARM II system for screening of poultry and meats for presence of veterinary drugs.
The Food Microbiology laboratory carries out analysis of the following pathogens: Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Vibrio species in seafood samples in addition to other microbiological quality indicators. The laboratory also carries out microbiological analysis of water, and is expanding its scope to include a broader range of food types. The Microbiology laboratory works with the Ministry of Health in its Integrated Foodborne Disease surveillance. In instances of Foodbourne disease outbreak when a particular food source is implicated, FML carries out analyses of suspect food samples for the presence of pathogens in accordance with BAHA’s memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Health.
For submission of samples to Central Investigation Laboratory customers can use the attached Chain of Custody form.