Cefas is the designated the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for the fish parasite Anisakis by the Food Standards Agency, the Competent Authority for the purposes of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 on Official Feed and Food Controls in the UK.

Article 101 of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 stipulates that NRLs will:

  • collaborate with the European Union reference laboratories, and participate in training courses and in inter-laboratory comparative tests organised by these laboratories; 
  • coordinate the activities of official laboratories with a view of harmonising and improving the methods of laboratory analysis, test or diagnosis and their use; 
  • where appropriate, organise inter-laboratory comparative testing or proficiency tests between official laboratories, ensure an appropriate follow-up of such tests and inform the competent authorities of the results of such tests and follow-up; 
  • ensure the dissemination to the competent authorities and official laboratories of information that the European Union reference laboratory supplies;
  • provide within the scope of their mission scientific and technical assistance to the competent authorities for the implementation of multi-annual national control plans and of coordinated control programmes; 
  • where relevant, validate the reagents and lots of reagents, establish and maintain up-to-date lists of available reference substances and reagents and of manufacturers and suppliers of such substances and reagents; 
  • where necessary, conduct training courses for the staff of official laboratories; 
  • assist actively the Member State in the diagnosis of outbreaks of foodborne diseases and in case of non-compliance of consignments, by carrying out confirmatory diagnoses, characterisation and epizootic or taxonomic studies on pathogen isolates.