HL Deb 08 May 2001 vol 625 cc184-5WA
Lord Hylton

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What percentage of food cargoes of non-animal origin are physically inspected on arrival from non-European countries; who bears the cost of inspection; and whether the whole of a cargo of such food is inspected or only samples. [HL1896]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

We are advised by the Food Standards Agency which is responsible for issues of food safety.

The information requested about the percentage of inspections of imported food is not held centrally.

Local food authorities are responsible for the inspection of imported food of non-animal origin from non-European countries at ports and would determine whether a particular import should be inspected based on the circumstances of, and the risks associated with, the product. Local food authorities bear the costs of inspection.

The extent of inspection would depend on the circumstances of each product. Samples are taken for examination or analysis where the local food authorities suspect there may be a breach of food law requirements.