About National Reference Laboratory

National Reference Laboratory

As a NRL (National Reference Laboratory) Wageningen Food Safety Research is responsible for the technical support of laboratories and authorities, quality assurance programme and inspections of residues of specific foodstuffs.

NRL regulations

The establishment of NRLs and their tasks are laid down in Regulation (EU) 2017/625. Wageningen Food Safety Research has been appointed as NRL for a variety of analytical domains. The activities of Wageningen Food Safety Research as a NRL are in line with the European legislation. The main objective of the Wageningen Food Safety Research laboratory is a generally harmonised approach to residue control.

Technical support of laboratories and authorities

  • Contribution at an European level to improve residu control in general
  • Contribute to proficiency tests
  • Contribute to European research projects
  • Support of RFL's
  • Supply of methods and expertise
  • Quality Assurance / Performance control
  • Second opinion / Contra-expertise
  • Supply of methods and reagents
  • Confirmatory analysis of non-compliant findings
  • Training and education on measurement techniques and specific methods of analysis

Quality assurance programme 

  • Supply of QA samples for selected substances within the NRL responsibility of Wageningen Food Safety Research
  • Regular evaluation of analytical results for QA samples
  • Quantitative comparability
  • For banned substances: compliance with identification criteria
  • Inter-laboratory studies (open participation)

NRL list

The laboratory of Wageningen Food Safety Research is designated as the National Reference Laboratory for control of residues in food for the following specific residues (listed according Annex I of Regulation (EU) 2017/625)

Residues in food of animal origin (Regulation (EU) 2017/625)

  • Carbamates and pyrethroïds
  • Organochlorine compounds including PCBs
  • Organophosphorus compounds
  • Chemical elements
  • Residues of beta-agonists
  • Residues of dyes and chloramphenicol
  • Residues of Anthelmintics, anticoccidials including nitroimidazoles, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID´s)
  • Residues of Antibacterial substances, including sulphonamides and quinolones, carbadox, olaquindox, chloroform, dapsone, nitrofuranes
  • Residues of Stilbenes, stilbene derivatives, salts and esters, Antithyroid agents, Steroids, Resorcylic Acid Lactones (RAL´s) incl. Zeranol, Sedatives, Mycotoxines

Residues in feed and food (Regulation (EU) 2017/625)

  • Dioxins and PCBs
  • Heavy metals
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • Mycotoxins
  • Marine biotoxins
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Other NRL activities

  • Milk and milk products
  • Water content in poultry meat
  • Feed additives
  • Animal proteins in feeding stuffs