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First proficiency testing to evaluate the ability of European Union National Reference Laboratories to detect staphylococcal enterotoxins in milk products


First proficiency testing to evaluate the ability of European Union National Reference Laboratories to detect staphylococcal enterotoxins in milk products



Journal of Aoac International 86(2): 332-339



ISSN/ISBN: 1060-3271

PMID: 12733489

The European Commission has designed a network of European Union-National Reference Laboratories (EU-NRLs), coordinated by a Community Reference Laboratory (CRL), for control of hygiene of milk and milk products (Council Directive 92/46/ECC). As a common contaminant of milk and milk products such as cheese, staphylococcal enterotoxins are often involved in human outbreaks and should be monitored regularly. The main tasks of the EU-CRLs were to select and transfer to the EU-NRLs a reference method for detection of enterotoxins, and to set up proficiency testing to evaluate the competency of the European laboratory network. The first interlaboratory exercise was performed on samples of freeze-dried cheese inoculated with 2 levels of staphylococcal enterotoxins (0.1 and 0.25 ng/g) and on an uninoculated control. These levels were chosen considering the EU regulation for staphylococcal enterotoxins in milk and milk products and the limit of detection of the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test recommended in the reference method. The trial was conducted according to the recommendations of ISO Guide 43. Results produced by laboratories were compiled and compared through statistical analysis. Except for data from 2 laboratories for the uninoculated control and cheese inoculated at 0.1 ng/g, all laboratories produced satisfactory results, showing the ability of the EU-NRL network to monitor the enterotoxin contaminant.

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Accession: 003771857

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