Address : 10B rue Claude Bourgelat, Javené CS 40608 35306 Fougères Cedex
Phone : +33 (0) 2 99 17 27 47
Manager : Pascal Sanders
The Fougères Laboratory is primarily involved in improving knowledge of the benefits and risks of veterinary medicinal products and disinfectants used by the food processing industry and in evaluating the toxicity of residues and contaminants.
The 70 staff members at the Fougères laboratory work in the fields of food safety, veterinary medicine and food hygiene.
Their activities in the area of food safety concern veterinary drug residues and the toxicity of food contaminants. In veterinary medicine and food hygiene, areas of interest include the antimicrobial efficacy of antibiotics and disinfectants, as well as the development of resistance to these agents.
The Laboratory’s work focuses on:
- screening for residues of veterinary medicinal products in foodstuffs of animal origin;
- the antimicrobial efficacy of antibiotics and disinfectants;
- resistance to these products;
- evaluation of the toxicity of contaminants.
The Laboratory is the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for veterinary drug residues and antimicrobial resistance, and is the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for antimicrobial and colouring agent residues. The Laboratory implements the quality assurance process for its reference activities.
It carries out research on the analysis of veterinary drug residues, on the characterisation of antimicrobial effects (antimicrobials and biocides), and on the characterisation of toxicological hazards related to contaminants. The Laboratory also develops new tools for the prediction of toxicity.
- Evaluation of methods for the detection of residues.
- Non-targeted determination of veterinary drug residues in foodstuffs of animal origin. Applied to a 3rd generation cephalosporin (ceftiofur) in pigs and poultry.
- Pharmacokinetics of antimicrobials and metaphylactic use in animals. Evaluation of the risk of resistance selection.
- Evaluation of disinfectant efficacy and residues.
- Evaluation of rinsing operations on the elimination of disinfectants applied to food-contact surfaces.
- Evaluation of peroxides used alone or in combination on the destruction of target foodborne viruses.
- Evaluation of the risk of transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in human intestinal microbiota.
- Impact of the use of biocides on tolerance to disinfectants and virulence of Listeria monocytogenes.
- Evaluation of antibiotic and disinfectant resistance in Campylobacter sp, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus faecium.
- Evaluation of the prevalence of resistance to colistin in Escherichia coli isolated in pig slaughterhouses.
- Evaluation of the toxicity of contaminants.
- Validation of new hepatocyte cell models.
- Impact of mycotoxins on the human intestinal microbiota: deoxynivalenol (DON) case study.
- Evaluation of the genotoxicity of the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), a Fusarium toxin.
- Development of a methodology for determining the genotoxic potential of nanoparticles.
- New in vitro approaches for the study of the toxic effects of lipophilic phycotoxins, alone or in combination, likely to emerge as a result of climate change.
Antibiotics, Biocides, Residues and Resistance
The unit is responsible for:
- developing, optimising and validating screening methods for drug residues
- developing methods for detecting disinfectant residues
- organising and participating in inter-laboratory trials
- performing in vitro tests on susceptibility to antibiotics and biocides
- determining the efficacy of biocides and antibiotics
- characterising genes for resistance to antibiotics and biocides, and their genetic support
- performing phenotypic tests for the detection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Analysis of Residues and Contaminants
The unit is responsible for:
- developing and validating methods for physico-chemical analyses mainly based on mass spectrometry coupled to liquid chromatography:
- for the analysis of veterinary drug residues in food of animal origin
- for the analysis of other organic contaminants in biological matrices
- disseminating these methods
- performing tests in response to requests for official analyses and for comparisons between laboratories
Toxicology of Contaminants
The unit is responsible for:
- developing and adapting in vitro and in vivo cytotoxicity and genotoxicity assays
- determining the effects of contaminants using different markers of toxicity in vitro and in vivo
- performing in vitro toxicokinetics tests
- participating in scientific expert appraisals in the field of toxicology
Experimenting, Modeling and Data Analysis Unit
The department is responsible for:
- animal experiments on livestock and small animals, involved in different projects assigned to and/or run by the Fougères Laboratory. The provisions in terms of management of animal housing and treatment of animals are described in the "Animal Experimentation" Quality Plan
- assisting in setting up experimental plans and conducting statistical analyses at the request of laboratory units or teams outside the laboratory
- coordinating ANSES’s statistical analysis platform.
- implementing the biokinetics project and developing biokinetics modelling tools.
- following up requests for tests as part of the reference activities relating to veterinary drug residues (NRL and EURL)
- monitoring samples subjected to testing and those produced in the framework of inter-laboratory proficiency tests for veterinary drug residues, in order to produce reference materials
- Coordinating proficiency tests defined in the programme covering the area of veterinary drug residues
The Fougères Laboratory carries out reference activities in the fields of antimicrobial resistance, and veterinary drug and colouring agent residues in foodstuffs of animal origin and animal feed (groups A6, B1, B2a, B2b, B2d, B2e, B2f except glucocorticoids, B3e as per Annex I of Council Directive 96/23/EC).
Veterinary drug residues: a reference laboratory
As European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for antimicrobial and colouring agent residues, and National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for veterinary drug residues, the laboratory in Fougères contributes to veterinary control through its expertise in analytical activities.
It improves analytical methods by:
- Carrying out and coordinating research on analytical methods;
- Developing, optimising and validating methods for the detection of veterinary drug residues in foodstuffs of animal origin.
It monitors the quality of the analyses carried out by the accredited laboratories for residue control by:
- Assisting in the implementation of quality assurance systems;
- Organising inter-laboratory proficiency tests;
- Training scientific and technical personnel;
- Disseminating scientific and technical information;
- Providing scientific and technical support;
- Performing confirmation analyses.
It provides scientific and technical expertise to the authorities by:
- Supplying information;
- Assisting in the implementation of surveillance and control plans.
Control of veterinary drug residues
The chemical substances contained in medicinal products administered to animals may remain in trace amounts in food.
In Europe, these residues are regulated (Regulation EC 470/2009) and controlled (Council Directive 96/23/EC):
- their rate of elimination in tissue and animal products must be studied by the pharmaceutical companies;
- they must not exceed a concentration limit recognised as acceptable for human health, generally from 5 µg/kg to 5 mg/kg. The maximum residue limits in food are laid down by the European Commission, further to proposals from the pharmaceutical companies and after review by experts, including the French Agency for Veterinary Medicinal Products (ANMV);
- there must be a minimum interval between the last administration of a medicinal product and the time-point at which animals and their products are made available for consumption (withdrawal period);
- the food processing industry tests for the presence of residues in food;
- he authorities verify that the maximum residue limits and withdrawal period have been complied with by performing analyses and surveys.
Antimicrobial resistance: a reference laboratory
In collaboration with the laboratories in Lyon, Maisons-Alfort and Ploufragan, the Fougères Laboratory acts as National Reference Laboratory for antimicrobial resistance. Its responsibilities, undertaken in accordance with Directive 2003/99/EC on zoonoses, are:
- to measure the sensitivity of sentinel bacteria (E. coli and Enterococcus spp.) to antibiotics in strains sampled as part of national surveillance programmes implemented by the Directorate General for Food (DGAL). These tests are carried out by COFRAC-accredited laboratories;
- to study emerging resistance mechanisms and confirm them in these bacterial species;
- to analyse resistance patterns based on changes in veterinary and breeding practices;
- to contribute to risk assessments concerning transfer of resistance to humans.
The Fougères Laboratory provides scientific and technical expertise by:
- participating in national (AFNOR), European (CEN TC 216) and international (OECD) standardisation efforts for methods intended to assess the bactericidal, fungicidal and virucidal activities of antimicrobial biocides;
- contributing to the expert appraisal of biocide dossiers both at the national and European levels on behalf of the Ministry of Ecology.
- European Commission/Directorate General for Health & Consumers (DG-Sanco)
- European Commission/Directorate General for Enlargement
- French Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries/Directorate General for Food
- Brittany Regional Council
- European University of Brittany (UEB)
- University of Rennes (VAS Doctoral School – Agronomy and health)
- Biogenouest network
- Scientific interest group (GIS) on cyanotoxins
- Network of national reference laboratories for veterinary drug residues
- Network of departmental testing laboratories for veterinary drug residues
- Network of inter-professional dairy laboratories
- Network of national reference laboratories for antimicrobial resistance
- INRA Joint Research Unit/National Veterinary School (ENV) of Toulouse
- Network of Laboratories within the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
- International Atomic Energy Agency/Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)
- Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) – International
- Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) – European Section
- French Standards Institute (AFNOR)
- French Medicines and Health Products Safety Agency (ANSM)
- French Ministry of Ecology
- Technical centres - ADRIA Normandie and Quimper (Association for research and development in the food industry), The French Pork and Pig Institute (IFIP), French Pig and Pork Producers Association (INAPORC)
- French Industry Association for Detergents, Cleaning and Industrial Hygiene Products (AFISE)
- Federations of hygiene product manufacturers
For more than 30 years, the ANSES laboratory in Fougères, via the Antimicrobial hygiene products unit, has carried out research on the subject of disinfectants and disinfection used in the livestock and food industries.
The Laboratory provides support to the Regulated Products Department both for national and European dossiers. It contributes to standardisation of methods intended to assess the efficacy of these products, at a national, European, and international level, and develops research in the areas of resistance, residues and efficacy.
The Laboratory is also a driving force at the national, European and international levels concerning standardisation of study methods on the bactericidal, fungicidal, virucidal, phagicidal, sporicidal and mycobactericidal activities of antiseptic biocides and disinfectants. It has contributed to the development of nearly 55 standards with the French Standards Institute (AFNOR) and the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN), while participating in inter-laboratory tests for their validation. The Laboratory is also France’s representative at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for harmonisation activities related to five international methods.
This expertise in disinfectants and biocides is also called on in the framework of risk assessments carried out by the Regulated Products Department (Expert Committee (CES) on biocides) and the Risk Assessment Department, specifically the Expert Committees on animal health, microbiology and processing aids.
All of the expert appraisal, scientific and technical support and standardisation activities are accompanied by applied research projects developed either through external funding by responding to calls for research projects, or through funding provided by ANSES. Three topics are given special attention: biocides and foodborne viruses, the impact of biocides on the adaptation of bacteria to antimicrobials, and biocide residues on food-contact surfaces and in foodstuffs.