Testing for chemical residues in food

Queensland has 2 main testing facilities for chemical residues in food.

Natural Toxins Laboratory

The Natural Toxins Laboratory is a research facility at the Health and Food Science Precinct at Coopers Plains in Brisbane.

The laboratory has the important biosecurity role of monitoring chemical residues in food. This is important to protect:

  • domestic consumers
  • export market access for Queensland's primary producers.

The Natural Toxins Laboratory supports a variety of industry-funded research projects, ranging from poisonous plant toxins to fungal toxins in food crops.

The laboratory's primary activities include:

  • investigating and developing analytic methods to detect plant toxins
  • identifying and characterising new natural toxins
  • investigating and analysing mycotoxins
  • assessing risks relating to natural toxins.

Contact details

Natural Toxins Laboratory
Health and Food Science Precinct
39 Kessels Road

Chemical Residue Laboratory

The Chemical Residue Laboratory is also a research facility at the Health and Food Science Precinct at Coopers Plains. It has National Association of Testing Authorities accreditation (ISO 17025) for antibiotic and pesticide residues in food.

The Chemical Residue Laboratory works closely with the Natural Toxins Laboratory to support research initiatives. Its primary activities include:

  • detecting antibiotic residues in meat, offal, urine and feed
  • detecting pesticide residues in fruit and vegetables, animal tissues and meat fat
  • providing a cattle-dip testing service for amitraz, cypermethrin/chlorfenvinphos and deltamethrin/ethion dips
  • conducting diagnostic investigation of pesticides in wildlife mortalities.

The Chemical Residue Laboratory accepts samples when:

  • no reasonable private laboratory is able to do the testing
  • or
  • there is a public benefit involved.

Fees are determined by the nature of the work required and prices are provided based on specific requests. The ability to do fee-for-service testing will depend on the laboratory's capacity to do the work.

Contact details

Chemical Residue Laboratory (CRL)
Health and Food Sciences Precinct
39 Kessels Road

Phone: (07) 3708 8700
Fax: (07) 3216 6565
Email: Dr Stephen Were on Stephen.Were@daf.qld.gov.au