In 2016, it was shown that all 34 National Reference Laboratories (NRLs), 30 of which are located in the European Union, were able to detect high and low levels of Salmonella in minced chicken meat. Three NRLs reported Salmonella in one 'blank' minced meat sample. This was probably caused by the fact that another type of Salmonella was already present in very low levels in the original meat. We present some conclusions from the 8th EU Interlaboratory Comparison Study of Food Samples, organised by the European Union Reference Laboratory for Salmonella (EURL-Salmonella). EURL-Salmonella is part of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM).
The study was conducted in September 2016. Participation was obligatory for all EU Member State NRLs responsible for the detection of Salmonella in food samples.
The laboratories used internationally accepted methods to detect the presence of Salmonella in minced chicken meat samples and analysed the samples according to the same protocol. Each laboratory received a package with minced chicken meat samples contaminated with two different concentrations of Salmonella Stanley or containing no Salmonella at all. As in earlier studies, the meat samples were artificially contaminated with a diluted culture of Salmonella at the EURL-Salmonella laboratory.