Surveys help to protect and inform consumers by alerting the Agency to potential food safety issues. Surveys also help to judge the effectiveness of regulation and inform negotiations with the European Commission, monitor trends and assess risks.
The Agency carries out surveys for monitoring, and not for law enforcement. However, the Agency liaises with the enforcement authorities if an urgent food safety problem is found and the survey results are made available to enforcement authorities prior to publication so that appropriate follow up action can be taken.
The Agency normally releases the full details of the food samples analysed in its surveys, including their brand names, together with the results. This ensures that consumers have more information on which to base their choices, surveys are more representative of available brands, analytical procedures are more rigorous and the food industry is more aware of the importance of quality control.
For practical and legal reasons, there will be a small number of well-defined circumstances in which we will not release advice or information. You can find out more about these circumstances in paragraph 2.7 of our policy on openness.
The Agency carries out surveys in the following areas:
- chemical contaminants in food
- chemical contaminants from food contact materials
- food additives
- radionuclides in food
- microbiological contamination of food
Index of FSA Surveys
To help you easily locate and identify the FSA food surveys that have already been published on this website and that are of interest to you, we have provided an FSA food survey index table. The table contains key information on the surveys from 2000 to present and includes links to the survey individual reports.
You can filter or search the index using the functions available in the Excel version, or via the search function in the pdf version. If you have any questions about using the index please contact the FSA Helpline on 020 7276 8829.
More in this section
The Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRIF) provides independent advice to Ministers as well as the Director of the Chemicals Regulation Directorate (CRD) and the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency on matters relating to the surveillance programme for pesticides residue in the UK food supply.
The Agency’s survey guidelines provide guidance on the procedures required for planning and conducting analytical surveys and reporting their results. They are designed to ensure surveys are as consistent, fair and representative as possible, and comply with the principles of openness and transparency.
All the Food Survey Information Sheets and ad hoc food surveys published in 2012 by the Agency.
Details of food surveys published in 2011.
Details of food surveys published in 2010.
Details of food surveys published in 2009.
All the Food Survey Information Sheets and ad hoc food surveys published in 2008 by the Agency.