Food Safety

Scottish Farmed Salmon

Request

Please provide the data held on the Food Surveillance System database.

Response

Please find the attached spread sheet with data recorded on the Food Surveillance System between 1 January 2017 to date relating to samples of salmon or salmon products (farmed or wild) tested by Scottish Local Authorities.  Please note the column labelled ‘Country’ denotes the country in which the final product has been produced, and therefore does not necessarily represent the country from which salmon used as an ingredient was sourced.

The data shows a total of 188 samples of salmon products were subjected to microbiological testing.  Of these samples, 24 were found to be unsatisfactory, all of which were ready to eat processed salmon products.  Of these unsatisfactory results, 21 were due to levels of non-pathogenic indicator bacteria which are indicative of poor hygiene controls during processing and would not be considered a risk to human health.  The other 3 samples failed due to the presence of Listeria species (which can contaminate ready to eat products during processing), but the levels detected were below legal food safety limits.  It is important to note that these results would have been followed up by Local Authorities and appropriate action taken to ensure the public was protected from any potential risks.

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.  This exemption is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

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