National reference laboratory operations

A national reference laboratory directs and assists official laboratories, verifies their analytical discoveries, and performs advanced analytics and research in the nominated field. 

Finnish Food Authority operates as national reference laboratory in the following research fields: analytics of the microbiological and chemical safety of foods and feeds, diagnostics of animal diseases and plant analytics.

Finnish Food Authority is the only laboratory in Finland performing all analyses in the following fields:

  • diagnostics of easily transmissible and dangerous animal diseases
  • residue analysis
  • determination of feed ingredients of animal origin
  • specific analyses related to microbiological food safety


Safety of foods and feeds

Ruokavirasto functions as mandated by the EU Control Regulation (2017/625) and Zoonoses Directive (2003/99/EC), respectively, and by national legislation as national reference laboratory for investigating the safety of foods and feeds.

EU and Finnish national reference laboratories for feed and food 

Diagnostics of animal diseases

Domestic legislation on animal diseases requires certain investigations to be carried out at Ruokavirasto. Ruokavirasto serves as reference laboratory for investigations required by the Animal Diseases Act (441/2013), and laboratories executing such investigations are required to comply with directions issued by Ruokavirasto. Mandated by EU directives the EU has either disease- or species-oriented reference laboratories in the Community, and Ruokavirasto functions as national reference laboratory as defined by said directives. 

EU and Finnish national reference laboratories for animal health and live animals

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has nominated Ruokavirasto to OIE reference laboratory for crayfish plague.

Plant analytics

EU and Finnish national reference laboratories for plant health