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Food monitoring service

The activities of the food monitoring service consist of chemical, biochemical and microbiological analysis of food, feed and seed that have been collected by the different competent authorities active in the official control of the food chain.

Microbiological analysis includes detection of pathogens such as Salmonella, detection and enumeration of pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, coagulase-positive Staphylococci, Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus cereus, as well as hygiene indicator bacteria, namely those indicating faecal contamination (E. coli). In addition, the scope of microbiological analysis includes detection of hepatitis A virus, hepatitis E virus and norovirus genogroups I and II.

Chemical and biochemical analysis includes testing for, among others:

  • pesticides in food of animal and vegetable origin
  • mycotoxins (including aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, patulin, fumonisin, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, T2, HT-2, citrinin)
  • additives (colourants, sweeteners, preservatives)
  • agricultural contaminants (nitrates, nitrites)
  • polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
  • process contaminants: furan, acrylamide, monochloropropanediol
  • Sudan dyes
  • food contact materials: primary aromatic  amines, HMTA (hexamethylenetetramine), formaldehyde, melamine)
  • chemical evaluation of seafood freshness: total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), biogenic amines
  • detection and quantification of genetically modified organisms (soy, maize, rapeseed, cotton, rice, sugar beets, flax)
  • allergens using ELISA and PCR technology

National Reference Laboratory for the European Union:

Our laboratory has been designated as the National Reference Laboratory for Luxembourg, pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council for the following analytical areas:

  • dairy products
  • pesticide residues in cereals
  • pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables
  • pesticide residues – ‘single residue methods’
  • PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons)
  • mycotoxins
  • food contact materials
  • genetically modified organisms (official control)
  • genetically modified organisms (validation of methods)
  • Salmonella (together with the Microbiology Laboratory of the National Health Laboratory and the Laboratory for Veterinary Medicine)
  • EHEC (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli); (together with the Microbiology Laboratory of the National Health Laboratory and the Laboratory for Veterinary Medicine)

With regard to the analytical area targeting GMOs, our laboratory is also part of the European Network of GMO Laboratories (ENGL) contributing to the harmonisation and standardisation of methods for detecting, identifying and quantifying genetically modified organisms.

Accreditation:

The laboratory has been accredited since 2003 according to ISO 17025 (2005). The technical annex is available at
https://portail-qualite.public.lu/content/dam/qualite/fr/accreditation-notification/organismes-accredites/laboratoires/lns-dcda/lns-da-v04-17025.pdf

LNS – A state-of-the-art method for detecting ergot alkaloids

the team