UK Food Surveillance system

The UK Food Surveillance system (UKFSS) is a national database for central storage of analytical results from feed and food samples taken by enforcement authorities (local authorities and port health authorities) as part of their official controls.

About the database

Information about each sample and the results of analysis are entered onto the system, and then validated, using the data entry tool.

The database is password protected and can be accessed by enforcement authorities and laboratories to search for anonymised local, regional, and national datasets, and identify trends and areas of non-compliance that can help develop sampling plans.

Training

An introduction to UKFSS is available through an e-learning tool on the database. This guides enforcement authorities through getting started, setting up, keeping things up to date, creating a sample, avoiding double entry, sending samples to the lab, downloading results, printing labels, and printing reports.

FSA-funded training is also available to UK feed and food law enforcement officers. More information about the course and current dates can be found via the 'External sites' link on this page.

Contacts

For information about accessing the database and technical support, contact the UKFSS Service Desk by emailing CSIS.fsaservicedesk@capita.co.uk or phoning 020 7276 8282.

For general information about the UKFSS Programme, please email standards.support@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk or contact the relevant delivery team person:

UKFSS in Wales

The two public analysts in Wales are currently able to use UKFSS and report using this tool.

Public Health Wales has three food microbiological laboratories in Wales in Cardiff, Carmarthen and Bangor. Installation of UKFSS in all three Welsh PHW laboratories is envisaged by the end of 2012.

UKFSS in Northern Ireland

The Northern Ireland strategic committee on food surveillance is an expert group that independently evaluates statistical data on sampling activities in Northern Ireland held in the UKFSS database. The committee publishes reports on food sampling activity in Northern Ireland. The reports should reassure the public that the necessary surveillance mechanisms are in place to identify and respond to unsatisfactory sample results. There are recommendations to further improve food safety compliance and this gives an indication of the issues the committee might explore in future work.

UKFSS in Scotland

A research working group set up by the Scottish food enforcement liaison committee analyses the data to identify issues relating to food safety, labelling and composition. The reports highlight how UKFSS data has been used to inform measures currently in place for food monitoring across Scotland, and will be used to inform local authorities’ future food sampling programmes, research and surveillance activities.