Our website uses cookies to give you the best possible online experience. We do not use these to store personal information about you. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them.

Cookie policy Close this window

Pesticide Residues NRL

Pesticide Residues NRL

Legal background

The concept of the European Union Reference Laboratories (EU-RLs, formerly CRLs) and National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) is laid down in the Regulation (EC) No. 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council. The overall objective of the EU-RLs and NRLs is to improve the quality, accuracy and comparability of the results at official EU control laboratories.

Four EU-RLs were established in 2007, each covering a specific commodity or method category for the analysis of pesticide residues in food. These are:

  • Cereals and feeding stuff
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Single residue methods
  • Food of animal origin

Fera is the UK NRL for the first three areas listed above.

Want to know more about our routine accredited testing?

Fera has established a reputation for implementing new technologies, developing and validating new methodologies and extending the scope of existing methods in order to include new pesticide/matrix combinations. Fera also has a long history of providing comprehensive surveillance/monitoring services involving the use of multi-residue methods and single/selective methods for pesticides that are not amenable to multi-residue analysis.

Pesticide Residues analyses are performed for the UK competent authority, the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) and for commercial clients from the food manufacturing and retail industries.

Legal limits for the concentrations of residues in food are set by the European Commission (DG SANCO). These are known as Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs). An expert Defra committee, the Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF), under the auspices of CRD, is responsible for monitoring the frequency and concentrations of residues in the UK food supply. CRD perform risk assessments on the residues found in the food to ensure that concentrations are within the safety limits established by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and that there are no health concerns for consumers.

Monitoring Programmes for Pesticide Residues in Food

Fera is one of five UK laboratories that undertakes the analysis of food samples for the UK national monitoring programme for the Defra Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF), formerly the Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC). This programme also incorporates the requirement for the EU Cooordinated multiannual control programme implementing Regulation (EU) No. 1274/2011.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) annually prepares a comprehensive report based on the residue results submitted by each member state: The 2010 European Union Report on Pesticide Residues in Food.

Both the UK and EU programmes are undertaken to ensure compliance with Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) as stipulated in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, and to assess consumer exposure to pesticide residues in and on food of plant and animal origins.

Nominated EURLs for residues of pesticides

Cereals and feeding stuffs

National Food Institute
Department of Food Chemistry
Danish Technical University (DTU)
DK-2860 Soeborg

Food of animal origin and commodities with high fat content

Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Freiburg
Postfach 100462
D-79123 Freiburg

Fruits and vegetables, including commodities with high water and high acid content

Laboratorio Agrario de la Generalitat Valenciana (LAGV)
Grupo de Residuos de Plaguicidas de la Universidad de Almería (PRRG)
LAGV: E-46100 Burjassot-Valencia
PRRG: E-04120 Almería

Single residue methods

Chemisches und Veterinäruntersuchungsamt (CVUA) Stuttgart
Postfach 1206
D-70702 Fellbach

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) annually prepares a comprehensive report based on the residue results submitted by each member state. The latest published report (2009) is available.
Archived 27/01/14

Visit LIAISON website - Pesticide Approvals, Label Information & MRLs

Pesticide Approvals, Label Information and Maximum Residue Levels - LIAISON provides details of products approved for use on any crop you select

Meet the Expert on Pesticides Residues

Dr. Sadat Nawaz leads the Pesticide Residues team and is a prominent residue specialist. Our services include:

  • Multi-Residue Screening
  • Targeted analysis for known pesticide residues

Telephone: +44 (0)1904 462 440


List of Analytes - Multi-Residue Screen

Download our Multi-Residue Screen Leaflet here

Join us for the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF)

PRiF provides independent advice to the government on the monitoring of pesticide residues in food working closely with the Chemicals Regulation Directorate and the Food Standards Agency, to provide independent advice to the Health and Safety Executive and the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and UK Ministers.

Register your interest here:

PRiF Open Event

Why not join our mailing list?

Want to know more about what is happening at Fera? Why not join our mailing list to find out more click here