United Kingdom National Reference Laboratory for milk and milk products

The United Kingdom National Reference Laboratory (UK- NRL) for milk and milk products is based at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), Food Science Branch in Belfast. The contract was awarded in 2009 by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) who is the competent authority responsible for designating an NRL.

Background

Milk
Information on the designation and responsibilities of reference laboratories is contained within UK-NRL for Milk & Milk Products EC Regulation No 882 2004.

The role of the NRL is to ensure compatibility of results amongst UK Official Control Laboratories (OCLs). These are organisations identified under the EU Regulations listed below who perform analyses of milk and dairy products thus generating results that can be used by a competent authority for enforcement purposes. Another role of the NRL is to disseminate relevant information to OCLs received from the European Union Reference Laboratory (EU-RL) based at Maisons-Alfort in Paris. These roles will lead towards and cement fair trade in milk and dairy products amongst member states in the European Union (EU).

The NRL is also in an exemplary position to provide advice, as necessary on a confidential basis, on testing of milk and dairy products with the support of skilled and knowledgeable scientific staff.

Core Requirements

The UK-NRL for Milk and Milk Products is appointed by the FSA to carry out the following requirements and duties, as set out in Article 33 of Regulation (EC) 882/2004: Requirements for official control laboratories and designation and responsibilities of reference laboratories to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law and animal health welfare rules.

  • collaborate with the Community Reference Laboratory in their area of competence;
  • co-ordinate the activities of official laboratories responsible for the analysis of samples in accordance with Article 11;
  • where appropriate, organise comparative tests between the official national laboratories and ensure an appropriate follow-up of such comparative testing;
  • ensure the dissemination to the competent authority and official national laboratories of information that the Community Reference Laboratory supplies;
  • provide to the competent authority scientific and technical assistance for the implementation of co-ordinated control plans adopted in accordance with Article 53;
  • be responsible for carrying out other specific duties as agreed with the Competent Authority.

National Reference Laboratory Activities

Annual Reports:

Annual Reports 2014-2015 Appendices

European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Milk and Milk Products Activities:

National Reference Laboratory Links:

 

Contact: Food microbiology group