Wednesday, January 02, 2013
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Illinois Department of Agriculture lab receives certification

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[January 02, 2013]  SPRINGFIELD -- The state lab responsible for ensuring that commercial measuring devices are accurate has been recertified.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture's metrology lab achieved a two-year certificate of traceability after a thorough review of its proficiency and operations by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

"Almost everything we buy, from a gallon of gas to a pound of beef, is sold by weight, volume, length, count or measure," said Agriculture Director Bob Flider. "This lab protects consumers and businesses alike from unfair practices by ensuring that the standards used to test weighing and measuring devices are accurate."

The department's Bureau of Weights and Measures uses those standards to inspect scales at supermarkets, warehouses, packing plants and other locations, as well as meters at gas stations and motor fuel terminals. Last year, more than 128,000 devices were tested.

"This certification is a tribute to metrologist Mike Rockford and his staff," said Doug Rathbun, bureau chief of Weights and Measures. "Because of their excellent work, the lab scored high marks on the evaluation and was able to upgrade its former, one-year certification."

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The NIST evaluation included assessments of the lab's calibration and measurement capabilities, proficiency testing results and staff competency, as well as the suitability of its facilities, equipment, procedures and quality control systems.

[Text from Illinois Department of Agriculture file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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