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Evolution of a residue laboratory network and the management tools for monitoring its performance

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Since 2005 the National Residue & Contaminants Control Plan (NRCCP) in Brazil has been considerably enhanced, increasing the number of samples, substances and species monitored, and also the analytical detection capability. The Brazilian laboratory network was forced to improve its quality standards in order to comply with the NRCP's own evolution. Many aspects such as the limits of quantification (LOQs), the quality management systems within the laboratories and appropriate method validation are in continuous improvement, generating new scenarios and demands. Thus, efficient management mechanisms for monitoring network performance and its adherence to the established goals and guidelines are required. Performance indicators associated to computerised information systems arise as a powerful tool to monitor the laboratories’ activity, making use of different parameters to describe this activity on a day-to-day basis. One of these parameters is related to turnaround times, and this factor is highly affected by the way each laboratory organises its management system, as well as the regulatory requirements. In this paper a global view is presented of the turnaround times related to the type of analysis, laboratory, number of samples per year, type of matrix, country region and period of the year, all these data being collected from a computerised system called SISRES. This information gives a solid background to management measures aiming at the improvement of the service offered by the laboratory network.
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Keywords: AAS; animal products – meat; chromatography – GC/MS; chromatography – LC/MS; fish and fish products; heavy metals; mycotoxins; pesticide residues; regulations; vegetables; veterinary drug residues

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply of Brazil, Esplanada dos Ministérios, Annex B, Room 433 – Zip code: 70043-900Brasília-DF, Brazil

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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