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Food: Research

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many public food analyst laboratories his Department operated in (a) 2006, (b) 2007 and (c) 2008. (250822)

The Department does not operate public analyst laboratories.

As central competent authority for food safety and standards, the Food Standards Agency has a responsibility to ensure United Kingdom food control bodies have access to analytical services to enable them to carry out statutory functions. Statutory provisions require local authorities to appoint a ‘public analyst’. These public analysts operate independently and are not part of central Government. Information on these appointments is not held centrally. However at the end of 2008 there were 21 public analysts laboratories in the UK, 22 at the end of 2007, and 23 at the end of 2006.