Proficiency testing

Participation in relevant proficiency testing is an essential part of a laboratory's quality assurance system. UK laboratories undertaking the examination of official control samples of fish for the presence of Anisakis nematodes are expected to take part in an appropriate external quality assessment (EQA) scheme as well as any proficiency testing that the NRL may provide.

NRL proficiency test distributions

The Anisakis EQA scheme is based on the use of artificial samples. The NRL distributes proficiency test material in the form of fish muscle containing anisakid nematodes for enumeration, and ethanol preserved specimens of anisakid nematodes for genetic identification.

Distribution is usually undertaken annually. Laboratories that are part of the NRL network will be contacted prior to each distribution and will be expected to participate.

Advice and guidance in Proficiency testing and EQA schemes

The NRL is available to assist participants who are experiencing problems with the Proficiency testing or EQA scheme. Contact Alastair Cook at the Cefas Weymouth Laboratory, Weymouth, Dorset, DT4 8UB, +44 (0) 1305 206600.