The Scottish Food Sampling Database (SFSD)

Food and feed sampling carried out on products available in Scotland for surveillance and monitoring purposes.

The Scottish Food Sampling Database (SFSD) collects and collates results of food and feed samples taken by local authorities and tested by designated official control laboratories in Scotland. Sampling of all types of food (and feed) is carried out on products available in Scotland for surveillance and monitoring purposes, as well as for enforcement, investigation and the prevention of food crime.

We manage the data collected through the SFSD, which provides a central repository for information relating to local authority sampling activities and associated results data. The database contains results of microbiological examination, chemical testing (including nutritional, contaminants, authenticity and allergen testing) and labelling analysis undertaken on these samples at the designated laboratories.

The database can be accessed by Food Standards Scotland (at the national and regional level), enforcement authorities and laboratories (at local level) to search for datasets, and identify trends and areas of non-compliance that can assist with the development of sampling plans and interventions. We analyses the dataset annually to identify trends and issues in Scotland relating to food safety, labelling and composition and produces an annual report, detailing identified issues and how the data has been used to inform measures currently in place for food monitoring across Scotland.

Local authorities and their enforcement teams use SFSD data to inform future sampling plans and surveillance activities. Effective sampling plans are important components of each food safety enforcement toolkit. SFSD enables local authorities to ensure that their sampling plans mirror the profile of food business premises while supporting authorised officers during their routine food safety and food standards inspections.