National Chemical Reference Laboratory, 96/23

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Since 1st January 2013, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) has designated the CER Group and the ILVO-T&V (as a joint venture) as National Reference Laboratory for the following parameters:

The residues of veterinary medicines and contaminants in foodstuffs of animal origin (Groups A1, A2, A3 and A4, B2d, B1, B3e, A 5, B2a, B2b, B2e of Directive 96/23/EC, together with carbadox and olaquindox):

Group A “Substances having an anabolic effect and unlicensed substances”

  • Stilbenes, derivatives of stilbenes and their salts/esters
  • Antithyroid agents
  • Steroids
  • Resorcylic acid lactone
  • Beta agonists
  • Other substances included in Table 2 of the annexe to regulation 2010/37/EC

Group B “Veterinary drugs (including unlicensed substances that could be used for veterinary purposes) and contaminants”

  • Antibacterial substances including sulfonamides and quinolones
  • Other veterinary drugs: anthelmintics, anticoccidials (including nitroimidazoles), tranquillisers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), other substances with pharmacological activity (such as corticosteroids)
  • Other substances and environmental contaminants (colorants)

Our main tasks, as National Reference Laboratory, are to:

  • Provide technical and scientific assistance to approved laboratories (standards, development and validation of methods, etc.);
  • Organise communications groups on the use of analytical methods HPLC-MS/MS, UHPLC-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS, HPLC-UV/fluorescence;
  • Hold training courses/workshops on the use of the analytical methods (HPLC-MS/MS, UHPLC-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS, HPLC-UV/fluorescence, RIA, ELISA);
  • Organise ring tests;
  • Develop new analytical methods and/or improve existing methods related to regulation, particularly at the request of AFSCA;
  • Perform analyses in the context of the AFSCA monitoring plan;
  • Keep abreast of the scientific, technical and legislative literature;
  • Participate in workshops organised by the European reference laboratories as well as other technical and scientific meetings (AOAC, CEN, etc.);
  • Participate in ring tests internationally.

Useful links to:

Nathalie GILLARD
Director of the Health Department
+32 (0)84 65 80 90
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Other international bodies

European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA)
European Food Safety Authority
Via Carlo Magno 1A
43126 Parma
European Medicines
Agency (EMA)
      agence europenne des mdicaments
European Medicines Agency
7 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf
London E14 4HB
United Kingdom

European Committee
for Standardization
       comit europen de normalisation

CEN–CENELEC Management Centre
Avenue Marnix 17
1000 Brussels

National Reference Laboratory for food allergens

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Currently little validation data is available to compare the methods of detecting food allergens. There are few standardised validation protocols or reference materials at an international level.

Major advances have been made in recent years in evaluating and controlling food allergies.

Progress has primarily been made in the development of analytical tools and in the management of the risk of contamination.

Much research is still needed to set the detection limits of the analytical methods depending on the sensitivity thresholds of the allergic patients.

In this context, the AFSCA designated the CER Group and the ILVO-T&V as National Reference Laboratory for allergens as of 01/01/2011.

Our main tasks are:

  • To arrange training courses on the use of analytical methods such as PCR and ELISA for the detection of food allergens;
  • To organise ring tests;
  • To resolve the analytical challenges attached to regulation;
  • To provide technical and scientific assistance in order to:
    1. organise and follow up a monitoring plan for detecting food allergens;
    2. interpret the results of analysis;
    3. quantify food allergens;
    4. establish detection limits for analytical methods.
  • To monitor the scientific, technical and legislative literature specific to food allergens;
  • To provide assistance in the organisation and evaluation of immunological methods of validation (ELISA) and of molecular biology (PCR);
  • To collaborate in inter-laboratory validations and in validating commercial kits based on immunological methods (ELISA) and molecular biology (PCR);
  • To define a list of methods or "reference" kits that can be used for routine analyses or for the confirmatory analyses performed in the context of the monitoring plan, based on a scientific evaluation and in collaboration with the AFSCA;
  • To organise inter-laboratory tests (ring tests) at the national level in accordance with the Royal Decree of 15 April 2005 and participate in these tests internationally in the context of detecting food allergens;
  • To organise conferences on the general issue of food allergens.

Analyses available

Analysis request form (EN)

CER Groupe
Analytical Laboratory 
+32(0)84 65 80 97
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European legislation

 EUR-Lex               eur-lex.europa