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Food and feed sampling policy

Trading Standards has a responsibility for seeking compliance with a wide range of legislation intended to protect consumers and businesses.


To outline our general approach to the sampling of food intended for human consumption and feed of non-animal origin intended for consumption by farmed and pet animals.


We are required to appoint a public analyst and agricultural analyst who possess the prescribed qualifications so that samples can be analysed or examined under the appropriate legislation. Officers who take 'formal' samples must be suitably qualified and authorised under the appropriate food and/or feed legislation.

Samples of food may include food ingredients, food contact materials, packaged and unpackaged foods, drinks (including alcohol) and food from catering establishments.

Samples of feed may include feed materials, feed additives, surplus food entering the feed chain, complementary and complete non medicated feeds for livestock and pets.

Samples may be checked for safety, adulteration, fraud, contamination, authenticity, misleading presentation and labelling, product specific standards, fitness, and quality.

Our policy

Where samples are taken on a planned basis (not on an officer’s initiative) a sampling programme shall be agreed with our public / agricultural analyst.

When a sampling programme is devised it will consider local, national and international intelligence.

Samples may also be sourced from a complainant who has made a complaint about a food or feed.

All 'formal' samples will be procured in accordance with the relevant legislation and food and feed law codes of practice and practice guidance.

All samples will be handled in accordance with relevant Trading Standards service documented procedures.

Feed may also be sampled upon request and a fee, charged as per Section 75(4) of the Agriculture Act 1970.

The policy will be subject to annual review.

All action taken in response to samples found to be adverse will be proportionate and will fully comply with our compliance policy.

Contact us

You can contact Trading Standards.