Food Safety

With a large range of testing abilities, our multi-disciplinary approach gives an overall view of any food issue you may be facing, providing you with the complete information you need to make the strong decisions needed to address these issues.

Food Safety

Original Thinking...Applied

"We care about the world and the environment.  We’re driven by a need to address important global issues such as sustainably feeding a growing population and security challenges. That’s why we use our original thinking and innovation in developing early stage detection to solve the big issues facing the agri-food industry. "

Alternative Proteins & Novel Foods

The demand for dietary protein is increasing globally as the population grows. Consumer awareness and interest in alternative proteins is growing. Health perceptions, environmental concerns and animal welfare are some of the drivers of consumer behaviour and interest in novel protein sources and this has made way for growth in the alternative-proteins market. Meeting this demand in an environmentally friendly way requires innovation in the alternative protein sector to satisfy consumer and regulatory requirements for safety and quality.

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Food Packaging Analysis

Food contact materials testing is used worldwide to make sure that food is not contaminated by any of the products it comes into contact with. The term 'food contact material' describes any material that may come into contact with a foodstuff. Fera is the UK National Reference Laboratory for Materials and Articles in Contact with Food. Our scientists are experts in policy and legislation in this area as well as in the analysis of these matrices. Analysis in complex matrices (foods, food simulants and food contact materials and articles) utilising a range of advanced chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques including headspace gas chromatography, GC-MS, LC-MS and time of flight (TOF)-MS

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Shelf Life Testing

Shelf Life Testing

Use by dates are determined during the development of any food product using scientific knowledge and testing. The length of time food is safe for is influenced greatly by the type of food, its recipe and the way that it’s packed. Given the complexity of the wide range of factors that contribute to a shelf life of food from the physical, microbiological and chemical processes as well as product characteristics, including the quality and consistency of ingredients, the moisture content and acidity levels, all play a part, as do external factors like storage, transport and packaging materials. Our experts can develop and carry out a standard microbiological testing method to assess the bacterial content of food and beverage products as well as feed products to determine their use by date as well as associated hygiene or product practices.

Contaminant Testing

Our experts focus on the scientific research relating to intentionally added food components and to those arising from chemical changes during food processing, bioactive chemicals and natural toxicants. Fera is the UK National Reference Laboratory for Mycotoxins, Heavy Metals, Dioxins and PCBs in Dioxins and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in food and feed. 

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Veterinary Medicine Residue Testing

Fera is a UK National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Veterinary Medicines Residues A6 - chloramphenicol, nitrofurans honey, dapsone, B1, B2a, and B2b - ionophores.

The main objective of the team is to develop, validate, and implement improved methods for (a) detecting and (b) determining the fate of drugs residues (both veterinary and human) in food, feed and environmental samples.  We have many years of experience carrying out veterinary medicines testing, providing services across the food supply chain. Our aim is to understand and meet the demands of the customer and to assist with any upcoming and emerging issues. The majority of veterinary medicines can be analysed by multi-residue screening methods, in addition we also offer a range of single residue methods.

  • Multi-Residue
  • Single-Residue
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Authenticity Testing

With the food industry increasingly subject to scrutiny, testing to ensure compliance with food safety regulations, protecting public health and supporting traceability is a must. Our original thinking has enabled our food safety experts to develop novel analysis techniques. From these techniques we are able to highlight & quantify the presence of a number of analytes across a range of samples to extensive limits of detection.

Authenticity Testing From Fera

Food Safety Support Tools

Keeping food safe and secure as it moves through the supply chain has always been a concern within the food industry - To make good decisions in challenging times, food industry professionals need accurate information that’s current, insightful and accessible, be pro-active by using Fera's HorizonScan and BSI SCREEN's software system to keep you ahead of the game. Food recalls can cost millions of pounds and can devastate a company's reputation.


If you are a supply chain manager with multiple ingredient responsibilities or complex international supply chains, or a company looking for new supply options, HorizonScan enables you to conduct top-line investigations and be alerted to food safety issues very quickly.

HorizonScan monitors commodity safety and integrity issues worldwide, collecting data daily from more than 100 food safety agencies and other reliable sources, delivering timely alerts on emerging food safety issues. It can help you to meet all consumer and regulatory demands for transparency and accountability across the ingredient supply chain, by identifying potential food safety threats before they become a problem.


SCREEN is used globally by the supply chain procurement, security, social responsibility and sustainability professionals of global importers, manufacturers, associations and governments to quantify supply chain risk in over 200 countries.


If you need to identify the nature and source of contamination in any food item, OriGen from Fera gives you all the capabilities you need. OriGen uses state-of-the-art Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to identify the source of bacterial contamination in food

Pesticide Residue Testing

Fera are the UK National Reference Laboratory (NRL) and have 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 across cereals and feeding stuff, fruits and vegetables & single residue methods. Fera 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.  We have many years of experience carrying out Pesticide residue testing, providing services across the food supply chain and our aim is to understand and meet the demands of the customer and to assist with any upcoming and emerging issues. The majority of pesticides can be analysed by multi-residue screening methods, in addition we also offer a range of single residue methods 

  • Multi-Residue
  • Single-Residue
Explore our analysis and screening

Fera's National Reference Laboratory Status

Fera acts as National Reference Laboratory under Regulation (EU) 2017/625 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. The Regulation establishes a harmonised framework of rules for Member States to adhere to at a Community level for monitoring and enforcing feed and food law to ensure feed and food is safe and wholesome.

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