Food Standards Scotland Publish Sampling Activity Audit Report
Food Standards Scotland (FSS) have published their final report from a desk-top exercise commissioned to assess the consistency of sampling policies across Scottish Local Authorities, and their alignment with the requirements of the Code of Practice and supporting guidance in this area.
Six of the 32 Local Authorities were not able to provide evidence that they had appointed a Public Analyst (PA). It was also noted that PAs and Food Examiners (FEs) are not being fully used in their support role by all Local Authorities (LAs) and only six LAs confirmed that the PA/FE had accompanied enforcement staff on visits or taken samples on behalf of the LA. An analysis of data held on FSS’s Scottish Food Sampling Database (SFSD) indicated that there had been an overall decrease of approximately 34-37% in the total numbers of sample records submitted to the database since 2014/15.
The report raises numerous recommendations for both LAs and for FSS, including:
Ensure there is a consistent funding strategy in place to ensure capacity and capability in the future (FSS & LA)
Public Analyst to be appropriately appointed (LA)
Sampling Policy and Programme to include consultation with Public Analyst and Food Examiner (LA)