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EU Interlaboratory comparison study food V (2011) : Detection of Salmonella in minced meat

EU Ringonderzoek voedsel studie V (2011) : Detectie van Salmonella in gehakt


In 2011, from the 34 National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) for Salmonella in the European Union, 29 were able to detect both high and low levels of Salmonella in minced meat. Of the remaining five laboratories, one scored a moderate performance caused by an initial transcription error from the raw data to the computer. Four NRLs scored an underperformance for different reasons such as limited confirmation of Salmonella suspected colonies or (cross)- contamination during the test. From these four laboratories, three obtained the desired outcome in a repeat performance test. Depending on the method used, Salmonella was found in 95-98% of the samples tested by the laboratories.
Interlaboratory comparison study obligatory for European Member States
These are the results of the fifth food interlaboratory comparison study organised by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Salmonella (EURLSalmonella). The study was conducted in September 2011, with a follow-up study in January 2012. All NRLs responsible for the detection of Salmonella in food samples from all European Member States, were required to participate in this study. The EURL-Salmonella is part of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).

The laboratories identify the presence of Salmonella by using three internationally accepted analytical methods: RVS, MKTTn and MSRV. In accordance with protocol, each laboratory received a package containing minced meat (free from Salmonella) and reference materials containing no or different levels of Salmonella. The laboratories were instructed to spike the minced meat with the reference materials and then to test the samples.

New reference material successful
During this proficiency test, lenticule discs were used as reference material for the first time in a food study. These discs require less complex preparation than the capsules that were previously used. In addition, the test samples made with this material were more like the 'normal' samples received by and analysed daily in the reference laboratories. The new procedure was so successful that it will be continued.

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