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Food Analysis

The food´s way from farm to table must be safe – everything from farming and animal feed to what ends up on your plate.

Food Analysis

There should not be any harmful substances or dangerous levels of microorganisms in food and raw materials. It should be safe to eat at restaurants and buy food from the grocery store.

These are some reasons why food is being analysed. The purpose of food analysis is to confirm the safety and quality of food. Within the official control of food, at the food producers, the analysis must be performed by an accredited laboratory. Accredited laboratories are also performing many other types of food analysis.

Examples of some specific areas of analysis are Trichinella analysis and Cesium analysis.

Trichinella analysis

Meat of pig, wild boar, horses and other animal species may be infested with nematodes belonging to the genus Trichinella. Anyone who eats meat infested with Trichinella can become seriously ill. Therefore, there are rules and regulations for how different types of meat should be checked and analysed. Meat from wild animals that can be infected by Trichinella and sold to consumers should always be delivered to the game handling establishment, unless the hunter himself consume the meat.

Laboratories that perform Trichinella analysis within official controls must be accredited by Swedac. National Food Agency in Sweden is responsible for sampling. Sampling is not accredited, but conducted by the National Food Agency´s veterinary inspectors. Swedish National Veterinary Institute is the national reference laboratory for Trichinella analysis.

The accreditation is performed in accordance with the international standard requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17025.


Radioactive Cesium, Cesium-137, ended up in Swedish soils and waterways, and thus in food, after the fallout from the Chernobyl accident in 1986. Still it is possible to find radioactive cesium such as in reindeer meat, freshwater fish and mushrooms.
After the Chernobyl accident, the National Food Agency in Sweden established national limits for Cesium-137 in food. These are:
• 1500 becquerels per kilogram of meat from reindeer, freshwater fish, wild berries, mushrooms and nuts
• 300 becquerels per kilogram for other foods

Cesium in reindeer meat must be analysed before the meat can be sold to the public. It is done through a so-called activity measurement. Swedac accredits laboratories performing Cesium analysis of foods. Accreditation takes place according to the international standard for competence requirements for testing and calibration laboratories, ISO/IEC 17025.


Requirements and guidance documents:

Legislation or other regulations which requires accreditation in Sweden

(EU) 2015/1375, European Parliament and of the Council laying down specific rules on official controls for Trichinella in meat (annex 1)
(EU) 396/2005, European Parliament and of the Council on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin (art. 26)
(EU) 2017/625, European Parliament and of the Council on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed, law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products
(EC) 882/2004, European Parliament and of the Council on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules (art. 5 and 12)
(EC) 183/2005, European Parliament and of the Council laying down requirements for feed hygiene (annex 2)

Documents that contain accreditation requirements in Sweden

(EU) 2015/1375, annex 1, Commission regulation laying down specific rules on official controls for Trichinella in meat
EN ISO/IEC 17025:2017, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories
STAFS 2015:8, Swedac´s Regulations and General Guidelines on Accreditation
STAFS 2011:33, Swedac´s Regulations and General Guidelines for the Accreditation of Laboratories

Documents providing guidance for compliance with accreditation requirements in Sweden

LIVSFS 2005:21, §§15-18, National Food Agency in Sweden´s regulations on public control of food
SWEDAC DOC 01:14, Assessment of quality systems in an electronic environment
SWEDAC DOC 03:9, Flexible accreditation
SWEDAC DOC 04:2, Requirements on accredited bodies in respect of calibration and traceability
SWEDAC DOC 05:6, Internal audits – guidance for laboratories and inspection bodies
SWEDAC DOC 06:9, Swedac’s policy for the participation of accredited laboratories and inspection bodies in proficiency testing schemes
SWEDAC DOC 10:5, Vägledning för informationssäkerhetsarbete
SWEDAC DOC 12:7, Vägledning vid användning av vågar på provningslaboratorier och kontrollorgan
EA-2/15 M:2008, Requirements for the Accreditation of Flexible scopes
EA-4/02:2013, Expression of the Uncertainty of Measurement in Calibration
EA-4/09 G 2017, Accreditation for Sensory Testing Laboratories
EA-4/14:2003, The Selection and Use of Reference Materials
EA-4/16 G:2003, Guideline on the Expression of Uncertainty in Quantitative Testing
EA-4/18 INF:2010, Guidance on the level and frequency of proficiency testing participation
EA-INF/13:2015, The Assessment and Accreditation of Opinions and Interpretations using ISO/IEC 17025:2005
(EU) 2073/2005, Commission Regulation on Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs
ILAC G8:03/2009 Guidelines on the Reporting of Compliance with Specification (under revision)
ILAC G17:2002, Introducing the Concept of Uncertainty of Measurement in Testing in Association with the Application of the Standard ISO/IEC 17025
ILAC G18:04/2010, Guideline for the Formulation of Scopes of Accreditation for Laboratories (under revision)
ILAC G24:2007, Guidelines for the determination of calibration intervals of measuring instruments (under revision)
ILAC P9:06/2014, ILAC Policy for Participation in National and International Proficiency Testing Activities
ILAC P10:01/2013, ILAC Policy on Traceability of Measurement Results
ILAC P14, ILAC Policy for Uncertainty in Calibration
SANCO/12495/2011, Method validation and quality control procedures for pesticide residues analysis in food and feed
JRC Reports

Documents that specify acceptance criteria or specify requirements for assessed objects/systems/persons

(EU) 396/2005, European Parliament and of the Council on maximum residue levels of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin (art. 26)
(EC) 2073/2005, Commission Regulation on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs