National Reference Laboratories

Last updated:
28 November 2013
The UK National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) network is responsible for setting up EU-wide standards for routine procedures and reliable testing methods in the areas of feed and food and animal health.

Core functions of the appointed UK NRLs are effectively those cited in Article 33 of the EC Regulation 882/2004 (see link below).

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is designated as a 'Competent Authority' for the purposes of Regulation (EC) 882/2004 on Official Feed and Food Controls in the UK. In order to provide technical and scientific support for the official control framework, the European Commission has created a network of European Union Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs). Individual EU Member States designate one or more NRLs for each EU-RL.

The NRLs within the UK are divided into:

  • NRLs for feed and food (FSA and Defra)
  • NRLS for animal health and live animals (Defra)

The following list gives the details of UK NRLs in food and feed and the responsible department:

National Reference Laboratories for feed and food in the UK

National Reference Laboratories for feed and food in the UK
Subject and responsible department NRL Contact details
Additives for use in animal feeds
FSA
LGC Ltd
www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
info@lgcgroup.com
Analysis and testing of
zoonoses (salmonella)
Defra/FSA
For animals: (Defra)
Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) Weybridge
Woodham Lane,
New Haw,
Addlestone,
Weybridge
KT15 3NB
Tel: 01932 341111
enquiries@vla.defra.gsi.gov.uk
In food: (FSA)
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
Animal proteins in feedingstuffs
Defra
Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) Luddington,
Stratford-upon-Avon,
Warwickshire
CV37 9SJ
Tel: 01789 750212
luddington@vla.defra.gsi.gov.uk
Antimicrobial resistance
FSA
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
Campylobacter
FSA/Defra
For food: (FSA)
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
For animals: (Defra)
Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) Weybridge
New Haw,
Addlestone,
Weybridge
KT15 3NB
Tel: 01932 341111
enquiries@vla.defra.gsi.gov.uk
Coagulase positive Staphylococci, including Staphylococcus aureus
FSA
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
Dioxins and PCBs in feed and food
FSA
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Escherichia coli, including Verotoxigenic E.coli (VTEC)
FSA
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
FSA
LGC Ltd
www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
info@lgcgroup.com
Heavy metals in feed and food
FSA
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Listeria monocytogenes
FSA
Public Health England
www.gov.uk/phe
FW&E Microbiology Network,
PHE Microbiological Services
PHE - Colindale
61 Colindale Avenue,
London
NW9 5EQ
Tel: 020 8327 7160/7325
fwe.nrl@phe.gov.uk
Materials and articles intended to come in contact with food
FSA
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Milk and milk products
FSA
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI-NI)
www.afbini.gov.uk
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division, Newforge Lane, Belfast BT9 5PX
Tel: 028 9052 5689
Milk_NRL_UK@afbini.gov.uk
Monitoring of marine biotoxins Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI-NI)
www.afbini.gov.uk
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division,
Shellfish Toxin Unit – Stormant,
Newforge Lane,
Belfast
BT4 3SD
Tel: 028 9052 5785
nrl.mb@afbini.gov.uk
Monitoring the viral and bacteriological contamination of bivalve molluscs
FSA
The Laboratory of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
www.cefas.defra.gov.uk/nrl.aspx
NRL Administrator,
Barrack Road,
The Nothe,
Weymouth
DT4 8UB
Tel: 01305 206600
shellfishmicro.nrl@cefas.co.uk
Mycotoxins
FSA
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Parasites (in particular Trichinella, Echinococcus and Anisakis)
FSA
For Trichinella and Echinococcus:
Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA), Bury St. Edmunds
http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/

for Trichinella testing: http://www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla-en/form/trichinella-wildboar/
Rougham Hill
Bury St Edmunds
Suffolk IP33 2RX
Tel: 01284 724499
BurySt.Edmunds@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk
For Anisakis:
The Laboratory of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)
www.cefas.defra.gov.uk
NRL Administrator
Barrack Road
The Nothe
Weymouth
Dorset DT4 8UB
Tel: +44 (0) 1305 206600
Contact CEFAS
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH)
FSA
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Residues of pesticides - Cereals and feedingstuffs
Defra
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Residues of pesticides - Food of animal origin and commodities with high fat content
Defra
LGC Ltd
www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
Residues of pesticides - Fruits and vegetables, including commodities with high water and high acid content
Defra
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Residues of pesticides - Single residue methods
Defra
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
Residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in food of animal origin for the residues listed in Annex I, Group A 1, 2, 3, 4, Group B 2(d) and Group B 3(d) to Directive 96/23/EC
Defra
For A1, A2, A3, A4:
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
www.afbini.gov.uk
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division,
Newforge Lane,
Belfast
BT9 5PX
Tel: 028 9025 5689
info@afbini.gov.uk
For Group B 2(d) and B 3(d):
LGC Ltd
http://www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
info@lgcgroup.com
Residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in food of animal origin for the residues listed in Annex I, Group B1, A 6 and B 3(e) and carbadox and olaquindox to Directive 96/23/EC
Defra
For A 6 (Nitrofurans and nitroimidazoles), B2(f) (carbox and olaquindox):
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
www.afbini.gov.uk
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division,
Newforge Lane,
Belfast
BT9 5PX
Tel: 028 9025 5689
info@afbini.gov.uk
For A6 (Chloramphenicol and substances in honey) and B1:
Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
For B3(e):
LGC Ltd
www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
info@lgcgroup.com
Residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in food of animal origin for the residues listed in Annex I, Group A 5 and Group B 2(a), (b), (e) to Directive 96/23/EC
Defra
For A 5 and B2(b) nicarbazin:
Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI)
www.afbini.gov.uk
Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science Division,
Newforge Lane
Belfast
BT9 5PX
Tel: 028 9025 5689
info@afbini.gov.uk
For B2(a) and (b) ionophores:
Food and Environment Research Agency- FERA
http://fera.co.uk/food/nationalReferenceLaboratory/
Sand Hutton,
York
YO41 1LZ
Tel: 01904 462000
nrl@fera.gsi.gov.uk
For B2(e):
Please contact the Veterinary Medicines Directorate
http://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk
Residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in food of animal origin for the residues listed in Annex I, Group B 3(c) to Directive 96/23/EC
Defra
LGC Ltd
www.lgcgroup.com
Queens Road,
Teddington,
Middlesex
TW11 0LY
Tel: 020 8943 7000
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies
Defra
Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) Weybridge
www.defra.gov.uk/ahvla
Woodham Lane,
New Haw,
Addlestone,
Weybridge,
KT15 3NB
Tel: 01932 357564
TSE.EUCommunityRefLab@ahvla.gsi.gov.uk