Last updated:
24 June 2016
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has again made funding available to enforcement authorities for sampling and surveillance of food.

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National sampling priorities for 2016/17

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.

Letters to local authorities

An archive of information and guidance issued to all authorities in England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland concerning food or feed hygiene/standards issues.

Further information

National co-ordinated food sampling programme

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.

National Reference Laboratories

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.

List of official feed and food control laboratories in the UK

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.

Food sampling resources

The Food Standards Agency supports local authority food sampling programmes that are regularly carried out to ensure the safety of our food supply.

UK Food Surveillance System

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.

Food laboratories

Details of National Reference Laboratories and Official Food Control Laboratories in the UK