Contact Us

  • Preferred contact Method:

  • Telephone

We will use the email address provided above to contact you about this service within 2 working days

  • Method Used
  • Accreditation
    ISO 17025
  • Standard Turnaround Time
    10 working days

Fera food scientists are able to highlight and quantify the levels of a range of penicillins and cephalosporins, within a variety of foodstuffs. We can also provide the evidence required by regulators to validate the levels of penicillins and cephalosporins within your food products.

Penicillins and cephalosporins are broad spectrum antibiotics often used to treat bacterial infections in a wide variety of food-producing animals. They are commonly used in the treatment of respiratory disease in ruminants, pigs and horses, foot rot in cattle and for mastitis in dairy cattle.

Veterinary drug residues, when consumed in significant quantities, can result in physiological effects being shared in humans. As a result, the concern about the possible occurrence of residues of this drug in human food has produced a need for analytical methods to monitor for this agent at trace residue levels.

As a result, legislative bodies charged with maintaining the safety of foodstuffs offered to consumers have defined Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for a range of residues. MRLs for penicillins and cephalosporins are defined in Commission Regulation (EU) 37/2010 (or as amended), which applies to a range of tissues from food-producing species.

Testing is carried out using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) and has been validated in accordance with the principles set out in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC, for the majority of analyte/matrix combinations.

This analysis method is accredited to ISO17025 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS)

Within this analysis, our food safety experts highlight the following specific chemicals:

β-lactams: Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Cloxacillin, Dicloxacillin, Nafcillin, Oxacillin, Penicillin G, Penicillin V

Cephalosporins: Cefalexin, Cefalonium, Cefapirin, Cefazolin, Cefoperazone, Cefquinome, Ceftiofur, Desacetyl-cephapirin

Multi-residue option

As well as being purchasable standalone, this test is also included as part of our multi-residue screen process, which includes a broader range of veterinary residues.

See what’s included in our Multi-residue screen (Option 1) here.

Submitting your Sample

When submitting your sample please include the food sample submission form to allow us to process your samples efficiently. Failure to send a sample submission form may result in a delay of your sample being tested.

Download the food sample submission form here.



Method Used



ISO 17025


Poultry and Game, Seafood, Fish, Red Meat & Offal, Honey, Eggs, Milk

Minimum Sample Weight

200 - 250g

Minimum Sample Quantity (Batch Size)


Turnaround Time

10 working days

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