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Research by the reference laboratories

The National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) within BfR are responsible for making available and validating detection methods and conducting comparative tests (interlaboratory tests) for the purposes of quality assurance. They aim to provide insight into the incidence, spread and properties of pathogens, toxins, residues and contaminants. Furthermore, the reference laboratories carry out selected routine studies. All reference laboratories attached to BfR are accredited in accordance with DIN ISO/IEC (International Standards Organization/International Electronic Organization).

The main goal of research conducted by the BfR reference laboratories is to develop methods that:

  1. identify emerging risks early on
  2. supply rapid, reliable results on the incidence, spread and characterisation of pathogens, residues and contaminants
  3. are suitable for national and international standardisation

Research areas

  • Analysis and Testing of zoonoses (salmonella)
  • campylobacter
  • Escherichia coli
  • Trichinosis
  • Monitoring bacteriological and viral contamination of bivalve molluscs
  • Marine biotoxins
  • Feed and food derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • food contact substances
  • Research by the Senior Expert Office for Wine


Das Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung

Research by the Senior Expert Office for Wine

The quality characteristics of a wine - like wine growing area, grape variety, vintage - must be indicated on the label. However, this information is not always accurate. Analytical methods are...

Research by the NRL for Trichinella

Human trichinellosis is a typical food-borne disease which is caused by intestinal round worms (nematodes) of the Trichinella genus. Human beings become infected by consuming raw or insufficiently...

Research by the NRL for Marine Biotoxins

Marine biotoxins are formed by certain types of algae. These toxins may also accumulate in mussel tissue and, after consumption, by humans trigger diarrhoea or paralysis which may prove fatal in...

Research by the NRL for Escherichia coli

Bacteria belonging to the Escherichia coli (E. coli) species are found in the natural intestinal flora of human beings and warm-blooded animals. Some representatives of these bacteria may, however,...

Research by the NRL on food contact substances

The main focus of research by the BfR National Reference Laboratory on food contact substances is the development and validation of chemical-analytical methods for determining migration and substance...

Research at the NRL for Campylobacter

In contrast to most other food-associated pathogens, Campylobacter spp. are fastidious bacteria, which are difficult to cultivate in vitro. However, cultivation and detection of live bacteria from...

Research at the Reference Laboratory of the network on genetically modified organisms (GVO)

The Reference Laboratory of the network on genetically modified organisms (GVO) within BfR is a participant in and initiator of national and international research projects aiming to improve existing...

Research at the NRL for Foodborne Viruses

The NRL for Foodborne Viruses carries out research on viruses in food in line with its legal tasks. As investigations on foodborne viruses were difficult in the past due to the absence of suitable...

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