Food Sampling

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Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council's Food & Safety Team samples food and water from local food businesses for microbiological safety.

The Council views food sampling as an important aspect of their duty to protect public health and comply with our enforcement responsibilities relating to food law.

Sampling is carried out for a variety of reasons, such as part of national surveys, complaints and routine monitoring. Each year a food sampling policy and programme will be produced and published to be available to local businesses and consumers. This will outline our general sampling strategy and approach relating to specific local situations.

Once an officer has taken a sample and it is examined by a food examiner the results will be categorised in one of the following ways:

Satisfactory: Means that any bacteria found were at acceptable levels.

Borderline (Acceptable): There were higher than expected levels of bacteria. This indicates possible problems with food handling and/or storage. The food business owner/manager must review systems of work to ensure that safe food is produced.

*Unsatisfactory: This indicates problems with food handling and/or storage. An urgent review of food handling procedures is required to ensure that food does not cause food poisoning.

*Potentially injurious to health and/or unfit for human consumption: Consumption of this food may cause illness. Immediate action is required.

*A phone call and/or follow up visit will be made to your premises by a member of the food team if the sample results fall in this category and a re-sample will be taken.

Our guidelines help you to interpret your sampling result.

For more information please contact foodandsafety@tmbc.gov.uk