Food sampling

Occasionally our food officers will take samples from food businesses and have them analysed to make sure that food and the environment it is produced in is safe. Samples can include portions of food, water used for washing or cooking, swabs taken of surfaces or items such as cleaning cloths.

Find out more below:

Staffordshire Food Sampling Group

We belong to the Staffordshire Food Sampling Group which requires authorities from across the county to take samples of a specific food each month. These samples are then taken to a laboratory for analysis, to see if the food is safe and clean. Some examples of recent studies are:

  • Imported chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Chilled fish products
  • Water supplies at mobile catering vans

How are samples taken?

Most of the time samples are taken on an informal basis - this means they can't be used for prosecutions but will be used to highlight problems and give advice. For the majority of informal samples an officer will purchase the product as a regular customer would.

Formal sampling

Formal sampling takes place when the officer is concerned that the public is at risk and wishes to gather evidence that the food being produced is unsafe. Formal sampling is done in a special way and the officer will ensure that the food business operator knows that the sample is being taken for analysis and help him understand his rights.

Sometimes formal samples will be taken after a poor result on an informal sample.

Any questions?

If you have any questions about food sampling, please contact our team.


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Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

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Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm.

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