Food Safety

Listeria & Salmon


Please provide information on listeria and salmon during 2014, 2015 and 2016. Please include testing, reports, data on prevalence, scientific papers, monitoring programmes, correspondence with retailers and industry representatives, Rapid Food Alerts to DG SANCO, food alerts, warning letters, prosecutions, health briefings, internal briefings, emails and any other information relating to listeria and salmon since 1 January 2014. 


As this request was very wide, it was narrowed down  to ask for details of any positive tests in the first instance.

Some of the information you have requested (i.e. RASFFs and food alerts and recalls) is available by searching and

Under section 25(1) of FOISA, we do not have to give you information which is already reasonably accessible to you.

We have some of the information you have requested, and this is provided below. We have access to testing data, and to provide context in relation to that data we should clarify that:

  • The sampling is not random and is not representative of all salmon products placed on the market. This data relates to sampling undertaken by Local Authorities as part of targeted enforcement and surveillance activities.
  • Sampling covers a wide range of products from retailers and producers and includes both UK and non-UK produced salmon products.

The figures for Scotland can be broken down as follows:

In Scotland, from 01/01/2014 to 14/12/2016, a total of 156 samples of salmon and salmon products were tested by Local Authorities for Listeria monocytogenes. Of these samples, a total of 5 samples (3.2%) failed due to the presence of unsatisfactory levels of Listeria monocytogenes. The breakdown of sampling results for each year is shown below:

2014 – 58 samples were tested, of which 4 were unsatisfactory (7%)

2015 – 69 samples, of which 1 was unsatisfactory (1.4%)

2016 until 14/12/2016 – 29 samples were tested with no unsatisfactory samples.