Last updated on 18 November 2002

National Food Surveillance System for Scotland

This research project aims to ensure that all results from microbiological and chemical analysis of food conducted by Scottish Local Authorities are entered onto a central database.

Study duration: March 2001 to March 2003

Contractor: Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health

Project code: S01005

Contact: For any enquiries concerning this research project, please contact the relevant Programme contact or email: science@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

Background

One of the recommendations of The Timbury Report on Food Related Scientific Services in Scotland (1998) sought improvement in food safety monitoring for Scotland. FSA Scotland responded to this recommendation by commissioning the research project A National Food Surveillance System for Scotland (Project S01005). This project will ensure that all results from microbiological and chemical analysis of food conducted by Scottish Local Authorities are entered onto a central database. Analysis of this database will highlight any Scotland-wide problems and allow Local Authorities and the FSA Scotland to act swiftly to protect public health.

Results and findings

The database is now fully operational in Scotland, with food sampling officers in 28 out of the 32 local councils in Scotland routinely submitting samples electronically through their partner laboratories to a central database held at Health Protection Scotland (HPS, formerly SCIEH). It is hoped that the database will provide a useful tool to assist partner organisations in applying a more risk based and focussed approach to food sampling programmes, and in identifying potential trends in food safety and nutritional standards.

The Food Standards Agency have now contracted HPS to roll out the database to take in food sampling data throughout the whole of the UK.

Dissemination information

The final report is available from the Agency's Information Centre.
To obtain a copy, please contact the Enquiry Desk, Information Services, Food Standards Agency (tel: 020 7276 8181/8182 or email: infocentre@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk)