We carry out food sampling to check that food businesses are meeting food safety and hygiene standards.

Why are food samples taken?

Reasons for carrying out food sampling:

Sampling is often used effectively to educate food businesses about the importance of good hygiene practice and food hygiene training.

Who tests the samples taken?

Food samples will either be tested by GOV.UK - Public Health England or the Public Analyst.

Will premises be notified of a sampling visit?

You will not normally be notified that a sampling visit is going to be carried out.

What happens after samples have been taken?

Once all the food has been collected and examined you will be informed of the results by letter if the results are satisfactory and via telephone and letter if they are unsatisfactory.

If the sampling is part of a national sampling protocol the results are brought together and, where appropriate, sector specific guidance leaflets may be produced and made available for businesses.