Food and Animal Feed Sampling Policy

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					Regeneration Portfolio
Environmental Health and Trading Standards Divisions
Food and Animal Feed Sampling Policy


1      Introduction

1.1    The surveillance of the marketplace through product sampling and test
       purchases of goods, including food and feed, is an integral part of enforcement
       activity. This document details the Authority’s Food and Animal Feed Sampling
       Policy setting out the general approach to sampling. The policy is published on
       the web site at and

2      Sampling Programme

2.1    Each year a food standards and animal feed sampling programme is developed
       by Trading Standards and a food safety sampling programme is developed by
       Environmental Health. The rationale behind each programme is to check the
       following areas:

              To ensure the quality and safety of food and feed - including food and
               feed imported from third countries.
              To check the validity of process monitoring and management systems in
               relation to the importation, manufacture or sale of food and feed within
               the City – including those for which the Authority acts as the Originating
               Authority or Home Authority.
              To establish compliance against relevant compositional standards or
               specific labelling requirements.
              To check the accuracy and validity of descriptions and statements which
               are applied to the food or feed.
              To check the accuracy and validity of claims relating to properties,
               additives and ingredients in food and feed.
              To address both local and national food concerns and those relating to
               animal feed.
              To participate in regional and national sampling programmes and
              To act as an educative tool to help inform businesses and the public
               regarding food issues.

2.2    The proposed Sampling Programme for the year, in each case, will be
       developed and implemented having regard to the potential risk posed by the
       foods and animal feeds. It will also have regard to the number, type, risk rating
       and the confidence in the management systems in operation at food and feed
       premises within the City. Consultation will take place with the Public Analyst or
       Food Examiner as appropriate.

2.3    The Sampling Programme, in each case, allows sufficient flexibility to enable
       officers to respond to local needs or complaints as they arise, and for officer
       initiatives. It also allows sufficient flexibility for officers to undertake sampling to
Regeneration Portfolio
Environmental Health and Trading Standards Divisions
       act as supporting evidence in the enforcement of food standards, animal feed
       and food safety investigations where appropriate.

2.4    When officers take or procure samples for analysis or examination they will
       have due regard to relevant work procedures and to the procedural and
       legislative requirements detailed in:

             the relevant legislation,
             the Food Law Code of Practice.
             the Feed Law Enforcement Code of Practice
             Guidance issued by Local Government Co-ordinators of Regulatory
             Guidance issued by Food Standards Agency.

2.5    The circumstances will determine if the samples taken will be ‘formal’ which can
       give rise to formal enforcement action -if appropriate or ‘informal’ which can
       only be used as the basis for considering what further action –if any- needs to
       be taken in respect of the sample in question.

2.6    All action taken in response to samples found to be incorrect will be
       proportionate to the nature of the illegality and will fully comply with the City
       Council’s Enforcement Policy.

3      Analysis and Examination

3.1    All samples of food and animal feed are submitted to Eurofins Scientific, who
       act as the Authority’s Public and Agricultural Analysts. Samples for
       examination will be submitted to the Chester Microbiology Services- Food and
       Environmental Microbiology Services North West (FEMSNW), the authorities
       Public Examiner.

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