Reference activities

The Minister of Rural Affairs has authorised the Veterinary and Food Laboratory to act as the national reference laboratory in 30 different areas of food and feed safety and animal health.

The fields of activity, the content of the activities, and the obligation to designate national reference laboratories derive from Regulation (EU) No 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Member States, including Estonia, are required to designate a national reference laboratory for each European Union reference laboratory specified in the Regulation.

The main objective of the activities of the national reference laboratories is to ensure the reliability and comparability of the research results of the official laboratories operating in the field at both the national and international level.

National reference laboratory

  • cooperates with the European Union Reference Laboratory in the same field by participating in the training courses and international competency tests organised by it
  • organises proficiency tests for official laboratories as necessary and ensures the appropriate follow-up measures
  • advises the competent authorities and cooperates in drawing up monitoring and surveillance plans
  • ensures the transmission of information received from the European Union Reference Laboratory to the competent authorities and official laboratories
  • assists the country in the diagnosis of outbreaks of food-borne or zoonotic diseases and infectious animal diseases by examining isolates for confirmation, characterisation, and epizootic or taxonomic examination.

Official laboratory
Samples taken during official controls or other official operations are analysed by an official laboratory. The Veterinary and Food Board authorises the performance of analyses in a specific area.

The list of authorised laboratories and the application forms and submission data can be found on the website of the Veterinary and Food Board.