Chesterfield Borough Council recognises the importance of sampling food within the borough, and is committed to providing a food sampling service.
The main aims and objectives of food sampling are to:
- identify food that could pose a hazard to the consumer through the presence of significant levels of harmful bacteria
- support the food law surveillance functions of the authority and assist in the identification of food safety legislation contraventions
- assist in the evaluation of food hygiene practices in food businesses and determine if advice or enforcement action is appropriate in premises where it is suspected that poor practices and procedures exist
- assess the microbiological quality of food manufactured, distributed or retailed in the area
- support national and European food sampling initiatives
Derbyshire Food Sampling Group
The council is represented on the Derbyshire Food Sampling Group and will participate in the group's sampling programme. In addition the council will implement a local sampling programme to reflect the nature of the food establishments within the district.
The council and the group are supportive of regional and nationally co-ordinated food sampling programmes, as this enables resources to be targeted more effectively and for more detailed surveys to be undertaken.
The information gathered from such surveys, concerning the level of bacterial contamination in specific types of food, is more meaningful than the results of ad hoc sampling. Ad hoc sampling is of limited value in providing a general and ongoing assessment of the microbiological quality of food.
Sampling will usually be carried out by the surveillance group in the following situations:
- investigation of food poisoning outbreaks and food contamination incidents
- investigation of food complaints
- European Community co-ordinated sampling programmes
- LACORS co-ordinated sampling programmes
- Food Standards Agency (FSA) co-ordinated sampling programmes
- local projects
- home/originating authority responsibilities
- food sampling duties placed on authorities by statute
- as part of a food hygiene inspection, to help assess hygiene standards and monitor processes
If you require further information about food sampling or wish to comment on the policy, please contact us online.
Glossary and explanation of terms
EHD: Environmental Services
Home Authority: A local authority where the decision making base of a food company is located
LACORS: Local Authority Co-ordinating Body for Food and Trading Standards, an organisation that provides advice and guidance to local authorities
Originating Authority: A local authority where a food manufacturing company is based
HPA: Health Protection Agency