Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - UK - 2014

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/14/005), 31 January 2014

SURVEILLANCE - National Co-ordinated Food Sampling Programme 2014-15

This is a copy of the letter to local autorities. Also available on this site are (1) Information (mentioned below as Appendix A), (2) a separate document listing pritories for sampling (mentioned on page 8 of the information document, (3) Report for 2011-12, and (4) Report for 2012-13.

The Food Standards Agency is again making funding available to UK Enforcement Authorities1 for sampling and surveillance of food (Note: Wherever enforcement authorities are mentioned in these project requirements they include port health authorities, local authorities, food liaison groups and regional groups). The sampling priorities for this year’s programme have been decided in consultation with a wide range of organisations, including DEFRA, Department of Health, Public Health and Local Authorities. I am writing to let you know about details of this programme and to invite you to submit an application.

Sampling and surveillance of food is an essential approach to protecting public health and this programme aims to provide a co-ordinated, risk-based approach for sampling supporting the outcomes in the Agency’s Strategic Plan. The main focus of the programme remains on imports; however, sampling of UK-produced food is included where potential risks can be identified. Further information on specific priorities for sampling is included in Appendix A.

I’d like to draw your attention to some recent changes to this programme namely; it is scheduled that funding available will be on a regional/collaborative groups (such as Food Liaison Groups) and are offering a co-ordination fee of 10% to support this. In looking at this we would also encourage first-tier authorities to work with their second –tier authorities when proposing to take part in this programme.

Again we are requesting that all participants should be using UK Food Surveillance System (UKFSS) to enable results to be available in real time, and to help ensure any necessary action is taken promptly.

As seen in last year part of this year’s programme, we will not be specifying all the sampling priorities at the start of the programme, but will allow a portion of the grants to be allocated to target sampling of foods identified as potential risks by the Agency’s Emerging Risks team. Proposals must be received by the closing date of 17:00 on 28th February 2014.

I very much hope that your authority will take part in the sampling and that these funds will help to provide a basis for targeted food surveillance for the future. The Agency’s activity around the surveillance and investigations into undeclared horse meat in processed meat products has proved to have a positive impact on this grant programme and I would like to thank you for support into previous programmes, I have also attached survey reports of previous programmes. The focus of these reports are on the previous programmes and the Agency is preparing a more comprehensive of the report of the sampling results submitted via UKFSS for 2012/13 and we will notify you when this report is published.

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