shutterstock_1172545957Especially over the holiday season, it is often taken for granted that consumers can go to their local supermarket and easily fill their baskets with a broad range of meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. Yet the plentiful availability of these products is possible thanks to modern farming methods that rely on veterinary drugs to increase food production by promoting healthy animal growth and preventing livestock from contracting diseases.

Most people are probably unaware of the volume and number of chemicals that can be used to treat animals in food production, and if these will end up in our food and potentially be hazardous to health.  It is therefore of utmost importance that the usage of these veterinary drugs are tightly controlled by regulatory agencies that require rigorous routine food safety and quality control testing programs.

Significant challenges for the analysis of veterinary drugs include the wide range of residue concentrations required to be quantified, along with the diverse sample types and chemical properties of multiple classes of these compounds placed into a single analytical method.  Fortunately, an analytical workflow solution recently developed by Thermo Fisher Scientific using a generic sample preparation procedure along with liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) will overcome these issues by providing a robust and sensitive method for routine monitoring of vet drugs in food.

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Known as the VetDrugs Explorer Collection, this complete, off-the-shelf solution contains everything required to set up the method rapidly in a laboratory, from sample preparation to final report.  The kit contains analytical standards and reagents for generic sample preparation procedures based upon the QuEChERS technique (Quick, Easy, Cheap, Effect, Rugged, and Safe) that can be applied to fish, muscle meat, and milk samples.  The LC-MS/MS system has complete methods for data acquisition, processing, and reporting for up to 170 veterinary drugs in a single run, and is installed ready-to-go in the lab by Thermo service engineers.  Finally, this workflow solution has been extensively tested in multiple laboratories to ensure robust operation and reliable results, which are critical attributes required by high-volume testing facilities.

For more information on this solution, you may be interested in the following links: