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Food sampling

In House Safety is able to conduct routine food sampling to ensure compliance with national standards for microbiological criteria. This can form part of a regular food safety audit or be conducted on request by catering management. For example, there might be a requirement to randomly monitor food handling practices, to objectively ensure that they are not contaminating food.

Food sampling can also be conducted at short notice in response to food poisoning allegations and foreign body investigations. Full microbiological or material analysis at can then be provided at reference laboratories.

We will visit your premises to take samples of food, which are then taken to an accredited laboratory to be tested for microbiological quality. We can do this:

  • Upon request as part of an investigation into a food poisoning allegation.
  • As part of an audit or inspection (with the visit being either announced or unannounced, depending upon your preference).

What do the results mean?

When food samples are examined the results are interpreted as one of three grades of microbiological quality and these are detailed below:

  • Satisfactory - Food which is of good microbiological quality and therefore the numbers of bacteria found were relatively low or not detected in the food.
  • Borderline - Food that has a borderline limit of microbiological quality and therefore the numbers of bacteria detected were higher than expected. A review of food handling procedures is necessary to ensure that safe food is produced.
  • Unsatisfactory - Food with relatively high numbers of bacteria and indicates a problem with food hygiene and handling procedures. A review of working procedures must be conducted.

The food samples that we take from your premises will be tested for some, or all, of the following bacteria:

  • The Aerobic Colony Count (ACC).
  • Escherichia coli (E.coli) including the E.coli (O157) strain.
  • The family Enterobacteriaceae
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • Bacillus species and specifically Bacillus cereus
  • Listeria species, especially Listeria monocytogenes
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter

For further information contact us now and speak with our friendly staff.

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