…for the Food Standards Agency.

Food Standards Agency guidance suggests that a risk based approach is to be applied.

Risk based sampling should enable authorities to cost effectively maintain surveillance of the safety and compliance of food products.

This project will provide an up to date understanding of current sampling policy and practice in the UK and selected overseas countries. This will be achieved by a combination of literature review and consulting a sample of enforcing authorities. There is a small amount of research into the use of risk-based approaches to develop sampling plans and sampling programmes. This includes some discursive work and development of methods for risk assessing foods. The inclusion of factors in food risk assessment appears to be based on expert knowledge of factors contributing to food safety risks. A range of food risk assessment methods have been developed and trialled or to some extent implemented. These methods focus primarily on food safety issues such as product contamination rather than food standards issues such as adulterated food or counterfeit food and drink. Specific lessons can be drawn from the literature in terms of the development of risk-based sampling guidance for Local Authority Enforcement Officers.

Our project plan includes developing and testing a method as well as producing a standalone ‘ready for publication’ guide for final review and editing by the Food Standard Agency.