Animal By-Products – A Brief History of Testing

Animal by-products (ABPs) are materials of animal origin that are not fit for human consumption. Over 20 million tons of ABPs are created from slaughterhouses, food production factories and dairies each year across the European Union (EU).

ABPs can spread diseases and can be dangerous to animal and human health if not properly disposed of. EU rules regulate the movement, processing and disposal of ABPs. If you manufacture a product that contains animal by-products, such as animal carcasses or food waste, then it’s possible that you will need to use the services of a laboratory like Alliance Technical to check your products are microbiologically safe to use.

The “Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013” which references the “Commission Regulation (EU) No. 142/2011 (implementing Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 of the European Parliament)” contains instructions for the testing of products containing ABPs.

You will need to have samples tested if you are producing;

·         Compost or Digestate from a composting or anaerobic digestate facility. These would be tested for Salmonella & E.coli.

·         Animal Feed from a petfood factory. These would be tested for Salmonella & Enterobacteriaceae.

Points to remember;

1)      The laboratory you choose must by UKAS accredited for the analysis required using the correct ISO standard methods.

2)      The laboratory can be DEFRA approved too but this is not a statutory requirement.

3)      Samples should be tested promptly on arrival at the laboratory.

4)      All ABP samples should be tested 5 times for Salmonella and 5 times for either E.coli or Enterobacteriaceae as required.

5)      The laboratory must use methods that reference the following standards;

a.       Salmonella using ISO 6579:2002+A1:2007 and

b.      Enterobacteriaceae using ISO 21528-2:2004 or   

c.       E.coli using ISO16649-2:2001

The laboratory method reference on the report can be cross referenced via the laboratory’s UKAS Schedule of Accreditation. From March 2011 no UKAS accredited or DEFRA approved laboratory should be using any other method than those listed above for ABP testing.

6)      All final reports should include the UKAS mark for the laboratory used.

Alliance Technical Laboratories (ATL) is UKAS accredited and DEFRA approved to test compost, digestate and animal feed samples. You can find our UKAS schedule and DEFRA approval certificates via our ‘downloads’ page. You can also find links there to the GOV.UK guidance on ABPs and a useful ATL guide "Laboratory Requirements for Testing of ABP".