We undertake sampling within food premises throughout the district. A sampling programme is drawn up every year giving details of the type of samples to be taken that year.
A food sample may be a finished product, e.g. a meat pie, a whole meal or purely a food ingredient.
What is a food sample?
To ensure that food and drink intended for human consumption is safe, food samples are purchased anonymously or taken with the owner's consent by an authorised officer. These samples will be analysed by the Public Analyst or by the Public Health England laboratory.
Types of sampling
These may be taken either at the time of a routine inspection of a food premises or at a later date if officers feel that there is a need to justify the quality and safety of food sold from that premises. These may be taken as a customer or after the identification of the officer. Following unsatisfactory results the primary concern is to ensure that action is taken by the business to prevent continuing risk to health. All formal samples are taken in accordance with The Food Safety (Sampling and Qualifications) Regulations 1990.
These are used for surveillance purposes to monitor the quality and the safety of the food produced/sold in the district. These may take the form of special projects organised locally or nationally. Any unsatisfactory sample results will be followed up with an investigation into the possible cause and a 'formal' re-sample if necessary.
All sampling activities are reported to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on an annual basis.
To request further information on our sampling policy please contact us.