We carry out regular checks on food businesses in East Devon to make sure the public is protected and that high standards are maintained.
We may take food samples:
- as part of an investigation into a complaint
- to monitor how effective a manufacturing process is
- following a food poisoning outbreak
Our food sampling programme is determined by national, regional and local sampling initiatives.
National surveys are organised by the Food Standards Agency as part of the EC co-ordinated sampling programme or the Local Authority Co-ordinating Body on Food and Trading Standards.
We are also part of a county-wide Food Liaison Group with members from the local food microbiology laboratory, trading standards, Health Protection Agency and the other environmental health departments in Devon. We look at products of particular local significance such as cooked meat from farmers markets, local cooked crab, hogs pudding and rice from takeaways. Sometimes outbreaks/ incidents involving certain foods lead to an extended survey to establish whether there could be a more widespread problem.
Local sampling surveys may be done to follow up a food poisoning incident or highlight local problems found when taking part in national or regional surveys.
Devon and Somerset Trading Standards look at food standards issues such as food composition or labelling, - are there damaging chemicals or allergens such as nuts? This usually requires chemical analysis of the samples, which is very different to the analysis our commercial team carry out.