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Food and Drink Analysis

Picture of a yellow pepper, olive oil and tomatoes The public is protected from unsafe food through the enforcement of the European Community Regulations. As part of food safety surveys, ASSL test numerous samples daily to ensure that dangerous or misleading product labelling and trading practices are identified to protect the consumer.

The Food Safety Act (1990) requires all food authorities to appoint a Public Analyst to carry out food testing. European law also states that testing of official samples is undertaken in an Official Food Control Laboratory reported by an approved Food Examiner.

ASSL fulfils these requirements. Our qualified chemists and microbiologists apply a wealth of experience and expertise and take part in a variety of proficiency schemes to ensure the accuracy and validity of our results.

Surveying the food we eat

The nutritional content of food and its effect on health is well established. ASSL chemical analyses and microbiological examinations on food provide information to statutory bodies, which regulate and legislate from findings. ASSL can also provide detailed nutritional analysis, from single ingredients to full meals with multiple components. This information is then fed back to the public through collaboration with local and national agencies, such as the Food Standards Agency.  ASSL can also provide private companies that produce new or established products with detailed confidential nutritional analysis and microbiological examination.

Picture of a petri dish containing escherichia coli Ensuring Food is Safe

ASSL provide a chemical testing and microbiological examination service that ensures food is fit for human consumption, accurately labelled, free from harmful or undesirable substances and of the quality that consumers demand. Food that contains allergens, for example, nut residue, gluten and lactose are labelled accordingly to protect the health of those who are allergic to those ingredients.

We can also test that packaging is fit for purpose, for example by testing for migrating compounds from the packaging to the food.

Providing supporting information in complaints

In conjunction with local authority Environmental Health departments ASSL investigate consumer food complaints and provide expert witness reports and testimony where legal action is proposed. We can identify foreign bodies and suggest origin, identify moulds and assess the duration of growth, identify contaminants and taints, confirm pest infestation and identify damage.

Partnering Environmental Health Officers

ASSL work in conjunction with our colleagues in Environmental Health analysing samples submitted for general monitoring. We can query whether nutritional and compositional packaging claims are correct and that legal standards are being met. We can advise on sampling procedure and provide guidance for sampling programs when required.

Partnering Industry

ASSL work with a number of food manufacturers and retailers, running quality tests on samples to help them ensure that their manufacturing processes are operating effectively. We can provide nutritional data analysis for new product development as well as advice on statutory labelling requirements. We can also provide services to ensure that products imported from outside the UK or the European Union comply with current legislation.

Raising a glass in confidence

ASSL analyse alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. We can check, for 'watering down', whether colourings exceed legal limits and identify whether branded spirits are authentic.

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