Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

Containment Facility Inspections FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q. Do I need to have my laboratory inspected - the State inspector was already here (or CDC or Safety Officer).
A. The permit that you have applied for is a federal permit and therefore the inspections are done by Federal personnel. State inspectors are often invited to our inspections as a courtesy and we listen to any valid concerns they may have. PPQ 526 permits are issued for live plant pests and diseases; as well as bio-control organisms. They require a different inspection than that of CDC which deals with human pathogens. Institutional Safety Officers do not do our Federal Inspections but they may be present if they want to be. Do not confuse PPQ 526 permit inspections with inspections for soil import compliance or genetically modified organisms ( Biotechnology Regulatory Services).

Q. Why does my facility need to be inspected?
A. To get a PPQ 526 permit, the researcher must have a facility (laboratory, greenhouse, growth chamber) that adequately contains the organism ( 7 CFR 330). APHIS officials will determine the adequacy of the facility during their containment inspection.

Q. Why do I need a bio-safety cabinet to open shipments from foreign sources?
A. Shipments from foreign sources (even “pure” cultures) may be contaminated with fungal spores, bacteria, minute weed seeds, nematodes, and other plant pathogens. The bio-safety cabinet has HEPA filters and air flow patterns that prevent contaminating aerosols from getting out of the cabinet and into the environment.

Complementary Content