From farm to fork, whether brought in a shop or eaten at a restaurant, there is an expectation that food is safe to consume and water safe to drink.
This is underpinned by a myriad of regulations, codes and schemes some of which are required by law, others are voluntary. All of which intend to give consumers confidence that they are protected from sub-standard or unsafe practices and poor quality or inaccurately labelled products.
To deliver this confidence requires a variety of tests, measurements and certificated processes – whether on water, soil, plants or further up the production chain in the abattoir or dairy or the food processing unit. Trust is further generated through accredited quality assurance schemes covering farm, producers and retailers.
Accreditation is traceable through activities that are assessed against recognised standards and can span across conformity assessment areas such as:
Inspection (for example Animal Welfare under RSCPA schemes)
Certification (for example the processes for ensuring products are traceable through the organic manufacturing chain)
Testing (for example testing dairy products for salmonella)
Proficiency Schemes (for example schemes covering pertinent pesticide residue)
Reference Material Producers (for example providing certified reference materials for contaminants)