In 2017 a cross government framework was agreed for the provision of Knowledge Transfer (KT) of scientific method development to support food standards and food safety analysis in Public Analyst (PA) and industry laboratories.
The KT will be delivered through a three year project funded in partnership between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Government Chemist (GC) programme (funded by BEIS). The framework will provide a more sustainable and cost-effective programme of KT on analytical tools to support food law enforcement for ensuring food authenticity, safety, hygiene and quality.
The aim is to deliver a strategic three year programme of scientific KT activities to ensure effective analytical laboratory capability in the UK for food standards and food safety analysis. The programme will upskill laboratories on new and emerging food safety and standards detection methodologies, disseminating best practice in their application and providing the tools and know-how to respond to current and emerging analytical needs.
The activities to be undertaken are agreed by the partners on an annual basis by means of a prioritisation exercise. The activities delivered in year 1 (FY17) were:
- A one-day workshop “An analytical roadmap for detecting allergens in spices” attended by 19 participants from Public Analyst laboratories, industry and the project partners.
- Two e-seminars on digital polymerase chain reaction (dPCR) and designing quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays.
The e-seminars and the materials from the allergens workshop are now available in the training section of the Food Authenticity Network website: www.foodauthenticity.uk/training-top.
Activities for delivery in year 2 (FY18) are currently being agreed.
If you have ideas for training that are not currently addressed by other avenues such as the National Reference Laboratories, commercial training etc.. then we'd love to hear from you; please email Secretary@FoodAuthenticity.uk