Food sampling is done as part of local or national investigations to establish the standard of food hygiene practices. Christchurch food safety teams also take samples in response to food complaints and from premises that give cause for concern.
Generally samples are taken informally (purchased and paid for in the same way a customer would). They are sent for analysis for bacterial and sometimes chemical content and the proprietor of the business from which the samples are taken will always be advised of the outcome.
In some cases it may be necessary to carry out further re-sampling or offer appropriate advice to ensure food is sold at the highest quality and level of fitness.
Some businesses involved in the production or manufacture of higher risk food products may also needs to consider whether sampling is required under the regulations and if so ensure that this sampling is undertaken using an accredited United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) laboratory.