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The use of veterinary drugs may cause the presence of residues in food of animal origin if appropriate withdrawal periods are not respected. A high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) method has been developed for the simultaneous detection of 11 benzimidazole residues, including metabolites – albendazole, albendazole sulphoxide, albendazole sulphone, fenbendazole, fenbendazole sulphoxide (oxfendazole), fenbendazole sulphone, flubendazole, mebendazole, oxibendazole, thiabendazole, 5-hydroxythiabendazole – in bovine, ovine, equine, swine, rabbit and poultry liver and in bovine, swine and fish muscle. After extraction with a dicloromethane/acetonitrile solution (35/65 v/v) containing 5% ammonium hydroxide, the solvent was evaporated to dryness, the residue was dissolved in HCl 0.1 M, defatted with hexane, purified on a strong cation exchange solid-phase extraction cartridge and analysed in HPLC with diode array and fluorescence detectors. The method was validated as screening qualitative method evaluating, according to Commission Decision 2002/657/EC criteria, specificity, CCb and b error at cut off level of 25 mg/kg and ruggedness.
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