As every European citizen wants to know how the food they eat is produced, processed, packaged, labelled and sold, the European Commission needs to ensure a high level of food safety and animal & plant health within the EU.
Providing harmonized accreditation in that field is important to ensure that consumers have access to goods of consistent and reliable quality and safety. Indeed, food and feed test reports generated in one country with the accreditation mark of a National Accreditation Body (NAB) may end up in other countries as part of the information required by operators for their trade within the EU. Moreover, the international dimension of the economy implies that laboratories may operate in different European countries for the same test activities and apply for accreditation. Applying technical criteria that are clearly established and recognized by all interested parties to evaluate laboratories’ technical competence is therefore a must.
Through its Task Force Group “Pesticides”, the EA Laboratory Committee has drafted guidelines for accreditation in the field of pesticides residues analyses in food and feed. The criteria to be applied to assess laboratories performing tests for pesticide residues in the agri-food industry are specifically addressed, given the need for harmonization identified by users of test reports and the European Commission itself. This document gives clarification and information to reach a harmonized approach to relevant requirements of the new EN ISO /IEC 17025 with the aim of ensuring a more reliable and transparent approach to the pesticides residue analysis offered by laboratories.