Local authority food sampling

Scottish local authority environmental health departments carry out food sampling, as part of their enforcement of UK food law.

Scottish local authority environmental health departments carry out food sampling, as part of their enforcement of UK food law, with the samples being submitted for analysis by appointed public analysts or food examiners at official control laboratories designated by Food Standards Scotland.

Woman in butchers looking at and pointing to different types of meat on display
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Samples are collected by local authority officers from a variety of food premises in Scotland for enforcement and investigation purposes, as well as for surveillance and monitoring. At the laboratories samples are subject to microbiological examination, chemical testing (including nutritional, contaminants, authenticity and allergen testing) and labelling analysis.

Food sampling by local authorities currently provides the principal surveillance mechanism for assessing the safety and authenticity of foods placed on the market. It generates valuable evidence to support risk assessment and the targeting of further surveillance and enforcement activities.