Reference laboratory

The National Food Agency is a national reference laboratory (NRL) for several areas in chemical and microbiological analyses in food. We are therefore part of a network of national reference laboratories in the EU.

The network

The purpose with reference laboratories and the network is to have a common quality assurance and development of the analysis area of the public control. The aim is to have as similar analysis work as possible in the member states.

Scientific and technical support

The National Food Agencys laboratories give scientific and technical support when it comes to methods for chemical and microbiological analyses in food. We also distribute information from EU to the official laboratories. This means that every year, we control the official laboratories so they use approved analyzing methods for the public control.

National reference laboratory

All member states of the EU shall elect a national reference laboratory. In Sweden it's elected by the government. A central European reference laboratory (EU-RL) coordinates the reference laboratories in a network.

Microbiology

The National Food Agency is a national reference laboratory for microbiological analyses of the following in food:

  • Campylobacteria

  • Esherichia coli

  • Listeria monocytogenes

  • Coagulase positive staphylococcus

  • Bacterial and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs

Chemistry

The National Food Agency is a national reference laboratory for chemical analyses of the following in food:

  • Drug residues

  • Metals in food from animal origin

  • Marine biotoxins

  • Pesticides

  • Dioxins and PCB's

  • Heavy metals

  • Polycycklic aromatic carbohydrogens

  • Mycotoxins

  • Genetically modified organisms (GMO)

  • Materials in contact with food

Meat from fowl

The national reference laboratory shall give quality support to the public control laboratories in the area of trade with meat from fowl (water content etc.)

Wine

The member states of  the EU shall choose laboratories that will have the right to perform analyzes for the public control. The National Food Agency is the laboratory chosen in Sweden.

Reviewed 2015-02-24