Food, Agriculture and Animal Health

Sampling Policy 2013-14

Food and Feedingstuffs Inspection and Sampling

Hampshire County Council places an emphasis on food sampling and analysis as a food enforcement tool. This has been demonstrated by consistently high levels of non-compliant foods detected by sampling for many years.

Imported Food - incorporated in the sampling plan and projects is a commitment to sample a proportion of imported foods. This involves sampling from Home Authority or Primary Authority companies based in Hampshire who import food products.

The Hampshire County Council Scientific Service plays a major role in coordinating a number of other authorities in the region involved in the Food Standards Agency Imported Food Project

Sampling will be conducted where appropriate

  • as a feature of food and feed premises interventions including Home Authority businesses. Priority is given to sampling at Hampshire-based food manufacturers. Statistical sampling is performed if necessary at food manufacturers and importers.

  • during the approval process of feeding stuffs establishments and intermediaries

  • in response to complaints

  • for identified internal, regional and national projects

  • As a result of intelligence that identifies a hazard (unsafe, injurious or unfit and whether marketing is misleading, fraudulent, deceptive or a product is adulterated)

  • priority is given to foods and feeds produced, manufactured in, or imported into Hampshire

Formal sampling will be conducted in accordance with the Food Enforcement Code of Practice. A program of informal sampling projects is also undertaken. This enables technical officers and laboratory staff to play a more active role in sampling projects. This releases Trading Standards Officers to concentrate on investigating incidents and advising businesses Sampling work is conducted to determine compliance with food standards, feedingstuffs standards and to monitor the effectiveness of manufacturing processes and associated quality systems and to uncover any fraudulent practices.

The analysis and examination of Hampshire’s food and agricultural samples is carried out by Hampshire’s in-house laboratory and by its partner laboratory Kent Scientific Services based in West Malling, Kent. Most animal feeds and samples tested for pesticide residue are analysed at the latter.