AFLA 3 mins read

Expression of Interest – Food non-targeted authenticity testing pilot

UKAS with Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) would like to invite laboratories to express an interest to join a pilot programme to become accredited by UKAS to perform non-targeted food /feed authenticity testing against the conformity assessment requirements of ISO/IEC 17025:2017 and UKAS document Lab 13 for expressing opinions and interpretations.

This programme presents an excellent opportunity for laboratories to demonstrate their testing capabilities together with opinions and interpretations under ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accreditation, in the ever evolving authenticity testing food market place.

Successful applicants will be accredited to undertake non-targeted authenticity testing using specific techniques/methodologies and as part of this pilot, are expected to include an opinion on the authenticity of the food product on the accredited test report.

To express an interest, organisations will need to respond by email to [email protected] by 30 Sept 2022

Please note that participation in this pilot is very much encouraged by laboratories already accredited to ISO/IEC17025:2017 but applications from laboratories looking to achieve accreditation for this type of testing would also be considered, if they can meet the pilot timeframes.

Organisations that wish to participate are asked to provide the following information:

  • Name of Organisation
  • Confirm whether your interest is in assisting with the development of the assessment/or as a potential pilot project applicant
  • Status of any current accreditation
  • Scope of non-targeted authenticity testing that they wish to apply for

Organisations that submit an expression of interest will be invited to attend the meeting of interested parties where the terms of the project will be discussed along with a proposed timeline for key stages and any phased approach process that is deemed necessary. An important consideration is the sharing of reference data for food authenticity testing. Any relevant databases would be included in the assessments for traceability, suitability and controls to meet ISO/IEC 17025:2017. Following this meeting, laboratories will then be required to submit a formal application for an extension to their UKAS scope and agreement to the terms and conditions of the pilot programme before their participation is confirmed. There will be an opportunity to ask any scope specific questions on the details of the pilot programme at this stage. The number of laboratories participating the pilot programme is limited. Official laboratories undertaking this pilot study will be supported in funding and funding will be considered for other eligible laboratories. On-going accreditation costs would be the responsibility of the laboratory.

UKAS is currently gauging the potential level of interest in this area so would also like to hear from technical experts that may wish to support UKAS as a stakeholder to provide expertise and support to the development of accreditation criteria and process.

Please note that submitting an expression of interest does not indicate any commitment to participate in the project on the part of the interested parties and nor does the acceptance of an expression of interest commit UKAS to accept the interested party on any future pilot project.