Over twenty participants representing 12 countries and 20 companies and Institutes, recently (14th – 15th June) attended an international workshop on the “Analysis of Biotoxins” hosted by the Marine Institute at its headquarters in Galway.
“Ireland has an excellent standing with regards to food safety on both a national and EU level and is a leader in biotoxin analysis and research as evidenced with its 10 year collaboration with QUASIMEME proficiency testing schemes,” explained Mr Stephen Burrell, organiser of the event and laboratory analyst with the Marine Institute.
The analysis of shellfish for EU regulated marine biotoxins is an extremely important and topical area to the marine analyst. Recent changes in EU legislation moving the emphasis of analysis from biological to chemical methods mean the implementation and validation of these accepted methods is of the utmost importance.
QUASIMEME organises workshops and conferences to support participating laboratories. The workshops provide an opportunity to focus on specific problems both in the laboratory and in the field and, with the aid of expert assistance, provide working solutions. The QUASIMEME conferences provide a forum for the interchange of information and experience amongst marine scientists and to extend the QUASIMEME network.
||Twenty international companies attend QUASIMEME workshop|
The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the available methods of biotoxin analysis, with practical lab based demonstrations on certain key methods, and a review of QUASIMEME biotoxin exercises with a view to tailoring future proficiency elements of method implementation”, said Mr Burrell.
Key international speakers including Dr Arjen Gerssen (RIKILT, The Netherlands), Dr Begona Ben-Gigirey (CRL, Vigo, Spain) and Dr. Michael Quilliam (NRC, Canada) all highly experienced in the area of biotoxins, gave keynote presentations in the areas of paralytic shellfish poisoning, lipophilic biotoxins and developments in reference materials, over the two days.
The workshop was hosted by the Marine Institute on behalf of QUASIMEME, the organisation overseeing the Quality Assurance of Information for Marine Environmental Monitoring in Europe, and was partially funded by Waters Inc.
Companies in attendance included Namibian Standards Institution Food Laboratory, ZEU-INMUNOTEC Spain, Ghent University Belgium, Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries Croatia, IFREMER France, IRTA - Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology Spain, University of Ljubljana, National Veterinary Institute, and Unit for food of animal origin Veterinary faculty Slovenia, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, and Veterinary Sciences Division, Northern Ireland, CVI and Vetinery Institute Rijeka Croatia, Croatian Veterinary Institute, Regional Veterinary Laboratory Leibniz Institute of Baltic Research Warnemünde Germany, National Research Council Canada, Cefas UK, Dept of clinical pharmacology, St Olavs Hospital Norway, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, ANSES France, Centro Analitico Miguez Muinos Spain, RIKILT The Netherlands, CRL Spain, Marine Institute Ireland and Waters Inc UK.