Northern Ireland's tenth food surveillance sampling report published

Last updated:
24 October 2017
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The tenth report on food sampling activity in Northern Ireland covers the targeted, risk-based, sampling and testing of food carried out by local councils in Northern Ireland across the food supply and retail chain.

Overall, a high percentage of the wide range of foodstuffs sampled were found to comply with food safety and standards legislation. The main issues continue to be in relation to incorrect labelling and description of food.

Similar to 2015, the results of sampling in 2016 indicate that there have been relatively few detections of foodborne pathogens. In 2016, 5978 samples were submitted for microbiological examination and 2583 samples were submitted for chemical analysis.

Key findings of the report were:

• In total, 63% of microbiological samples and 43% of chemical samples were satisfactory.

• Only a small number of the samples, which did not meet microbiological standards, were found to contain pathogens that could present a risk to health.

• The majority of samples that failed chemical analysis were due to labelling issues, rather than the presence of harmful substances.

The report contains recommendations to further improve food safety compliance.