Sampling priorities were identified through extensive stakeholder engagement across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The priorities include meat country of origin labelling, allergens, meat speciation, counterfeit wines and spirits, food supplements and various chemical contaminants. A list of the 2016-17 national food sampling programme is below.
The national coordinated sampling programme has been going since 2003. It was set up originally to provide additional funding for local authority sampling and surveillance and focused on imported food. The purpose is still to provide for additional sampling, but it now includes both imported and nationally-produced food.
The Food Standards Agency has been working with UK local authorities since 2003 to support Enforcement Authority risk-based sampling and surveillance of food sold in the UK, whether it is imported or produced in the EU or UK.
The UK National Reference Laboratories (NRLs) network is responsible for setting up EU-wide standards for routine procedures and reliable testing methods in the areas of feed and food and animal health.
In the UK, official feed and food laboratories are Public and Agricultural Analyst and Microbiology laboratories (Food Examiners) that undertake work for Local Authorities. Also listed are other specifically designated laboratories which undertake Official Controls in specified areas for the FSA, FSS and Local Authorities.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) supplementary guidance on the sampling of GM food and feed for enforcement officers, following a European Commission (EC) Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) Mission to the UK in June 2006.
The UK Food Surveillance System (UKFSS) is a national database for central storage of analytical results from feed and food samples taken by enforcement authorities (local authorities and port health authorities) as part of their official controls.