Food sampling

Food sampling ensures food and its packaging meets legal standards for safety, quality, composition and labelling; that animal food which is manufactured or imported also meets legal standards.

Why we sample

Sampling allows us to:

  • investigate food poisoning outbreaks and food contamination incidents
  • investigate complaints
  • assess food suspected of being sub-standard
  • ensure that imported food complies with compositional requirements
  • confirm whether the declarations made on the food label are accurate
  • identify potential problems with specific types of food or types of food businesses
  • reassure the public about food standards
  • deliver a more effective food inspection service

How we use the results

The results of food analysis helps:

  • to identify whether there are any widespread problems with a specific type of premises e.g. bakers
  • to identify whether there are any widespread problems with a specific type of food
  • traders to modify practices to improve quality/safety of food sold in Brent premises
  • our investigations into food complaints, including establishing whether the food is fit to eat
  • traders to comply with complex compositional and labelling legislation
  • to ensure consumers are not exposed to hazardous or unwholesome foods, or prejudiced by food labelling

Annual food sampling programme

In April each year, we identify what food types we intend to sample in the next 12 months.

Our sampling programme is influenced by our local knowledge and requests from other local authorities and the Food Standards Agency, to participate in regional or national surveys.

The programme is flexible enough to respond to issues of current concern or interest.

Your views

We also like to hear your concerns about the types of food or practices that you think we should be monitoring. We will consider including your suggestions in our current or next year's sampling programme.

Please send your suggestions to