National reference laboratory - NRL

The Swedish Food Agency is a National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for a number of areas within chemical and microbiology food analysis. The Swedish Food Agency is therefore part of the EU network of National Reference Laboratories.

The purpose of the reference laboratories and networks is to ensure that countries jointly ensure the quality of, and develop, their analytic activities for the official authorities. A further goal is to ensure that analytical activities are comparable in the various Member States.

Scientific and technical support

The National Reference Laboratories of the Swedish Food Agency provide scientific and technical support by assisting with analytical methodology for chemical and microbiology food analyses. The NRL also disseminates information from the EU to the official laboratories. Official laboratories are checked annually to ensure that they use an approved method of analysis for official controls.

National Reference Laboratory

All EU Member States have to appoint a national reference laboratory within each field of work. In Sweden, these are appointed by the government. A central European Reference Laboratory (EURL) coordinates the reference laboratories in a network. Read more in EU Regulation 2017/625.

In addition to the NRL, the Swedish Food Agency is also the EURL for foodborne viruses.

Reviewed 2021-06-16