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Community Reference Laboratories - Biological RisksUpdated on 18 January 2005 

Biological hazards such as bacteria, viruses or prions are present in food, in particular in products of animal origin. Salmonella in poultry, Listeria monocytogenes in milk products, ASP in live molluscs, BSE from cattle pose serious risks to public health. In order to co-ordinate detection and monitoring of certain biological hazards efficiently, the Commission created a network of "National Reference Laboratories" co-ordinated by "Community Reference Laboratories (CRL)", responsible for setting up EU-wide standards for testing, routine procedures and reliable testing methods.

The Community Reference Laboratories with scientific and technical expertise within the areas of animal health, public health and zootechnics have been designated in a number of Decisions, Directives and Regulations. Within the framework of Council Decision 90/424/EEC on expenditure in the veterinary field of 26 June 1990, these laboratories may receive Community financial aid for fulfilling duties and functions specified in Council legislation.

As regards the veterinary public health sector, the following CRLs have been designated in the area of biological risks:

Community Reference Laboratories in the area of public health :

  • Milk and milk products (Council Directive 92/46/EEC of 16 June 1992, Art. 28, Annex D);
  • Salmonella (Commission Decision 2004/564/CE of 27 July 2004, Article 2);
  • Marine biotoxines (Council Decision N° 93/383/EEC of 14 June 1993, Articles 3 and 4);
  • Bacteriological and viral contaminants of molluscs (Council Decision 1999/313/EC of 29 April 1999, Articles 3 and 4);
  • Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Regulation (EC) 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001, Annex X, Chapter B).

List of CRLs responsible for Biological Risks & Workprogrammes for 2005 pdf updated 18 January 2005

Workprogrammes for 2004 pdf

Workprogrammes for 2003 pdf

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