Serbian external quality assessment for Trichinella detection in meat in 2021 compared to 2017
In 2021, the Serbian National Reference Laboratory for Trichinellosis, Serbian Institute for the Application of Nuclear Energy, organized external quality assessment (EQA 2021) for the detection of Trichinella larvae presence in meat by the magnetic stirrer method (MSM). The aims of this study were to examine the performance of the accredited laboratories over time and to compare the participants’ performance. EQA 2021 was organized according to ISO 17043, and the test panel consisted of three meat balls, two of which were spiked with four Trichinella spiralis L1 larvae. Evaluation of the qualitative results showed that 90.91% (100% in 2017) of participants successfully passed the EQA. Quantitative evaluation showed that, on average, 71.59% (in 2017 only 60%) of the spiked Trichinella larvae were detected. This study enabled comparisons of laboratories over time (2017 and 2021) and across the country. The results obtained should serve as motivation for improvement of laboratory performance. All official laboratories with
accredited MSM for Trichinella detection should participate in an EQA every second year and all other laboratories that perform Trichinella testing should participate annually in EQAs organized at national level. Regular participation will bring improvement in sensitivity of the test method used and will promote the important one health concept.