This paper reports the validation exercise undertaken in the Defra project FA0171. Where samples were prepared using raw meat admixtures or processed horse/pork in beef food products made to an industry-standard recipe. Two real-time PCR methods were subjected to a single laboratory method validation, evaluating the performance characteristics of specificity, PCR efficiency and r-squared (r2), Limit of Detection (LOD), Limit of Quantitation (LOQ), and precision and trueness. Then a limited UK-based inter-laboratory trial of the two methods was completed involving four participating laboratories. Full statistical analysis of the data qualified the applicability of the methods for accurate and sensitive trace-level analysis. The methods were deemed fit for purpose for reproducibly distinguishing between adventitious contamination at 0.1% (w/w), and the level for further enforcement action at 1% (w/w).
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