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Agenda 9 public analysts reportTHIS REPORT AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION ARE OPEN TO
INSPECTION BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
AGENDA ITEM NO: 9
ARCHIVES, ARCHAEOLOGY AND TRADING
TO BE HELD ON
24 JUNE 2010
REPORT OF THE CHIEF OFFICER
PUBLIC ANALYSTS’ REPORT FOR THE QUARTER ENDED 31
The report informs Members of the outcomes of analysis of Food Safety Act samples taken by West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service analysis attracted an adverse report in relation to labelling and/or compositional faults. The report focuses on aspects of the Public Analysts’ work. RECOMMENDATION
REASON FOR RECOMMENDATION
To ensure that Members are aware of current issues in relation to adverse reports on programmed and complaint Food Safety Act Samples. BACKGROUND INFORMATION
A summary of samples reported is attached at Appendix A. Appendix B, which gives detailed observations on samples receiving adverse reports is available on the Joint Services website and, following requests from Members, includes a column recording the action taken by officers in Business Compliance. In the period 532 samples were reported of which 122 (23%) received an adverse report. This brings the total number of samples reported on during the year to 1977 of which 475 (24%) were adverse. If the 230 school meal samples are removed from this calculation the percentage failure rate rises to 27%. For many years West Yorkshire Analytical Services has provided a service to HM Coroners. Advances in medicine and the ever increasing availability of recreational drugs have made this work more and more demanding. To continue to provide the best possible service new instrumentation in the form of a high performance liquid chromatograph with a triple quadruple mass spectrometer PLC/MS/MS was purchased 18 months ago. The extra capability provided is being used in our food work, including further developments in the analysis of illegal dyes in food. In addition, as part of a project with Trading Standards a number of herbal Viagra products were purchased and using the LC/MS/MS tested for the presence of sildenafil citrate, the pharmacologically active ingredient of Viagra. None were found to contain sildenafil citrate but all had numerous labelling faults and these are included in the appendix on the website. Work has continued looking at salt in Chinese Takeaways which often contain 8 to 10 grams of salt per serving. There are a few samples with more reasonable levels of salt demonstrating that it is possible to produce these dishes without a significant risk to the health of the consumer. Counterfeit spirits, particularly vodkas, have been around since the mid nineties. As vodka is essentially a flavourless drink it is relatively easy to counterfeit simply by diluting industrial alcohol with tap water. Cheaper brands, such as Glens, are often chosen by counterfeiters as plain bottles can be used. Recent samples, whilst not as harmful as those with high levels of methanol found in the past, have contained chloroform, iso-propanol, methyl ethyl ketone and dichloromethane. Chloroform and dichloromethane are both considered as possible human carcinogens and the concentrations present in the samples reported were such that a relatively small amount of the “vodka” would result in an individual consuming an amount of chloroform, that if taken over a period, would increase the risk of cancer. In comparison the samples of Granton and Verlight Scotch Whisky were relatively innocuous, though they did not possess the characteristics of the genuine article and were bottled in Italy. L:\S3 - Committee and Elected Members\S3.2 - AATS\S3.2.10 - AATS 1011\24 June\Agenda 9 Public Analysts Report.doc Work for the Food Standards Agency on the illegal dye chrysoidine in star anise and cinnamon alerted us to the prevalence of cassia being passed off as cinnamon. Although both are barks and are from related shrubs, cinnamon has a better flavour and is, consequently more expensive. When sold as the bark there is a clear difference. Cassia bark is much thicker and hence does not curl up in the way that cinnamon does into the characteristic sticks. Once ground it is more difficult to tell then apart. Microscopy and chemical analysis are necessary. Two samples sold as cinnamon bark or sticks were clearly cassia and a further sample of ground cinnamon was found to also be cassia. OPTIONS APPRAISAL
KEY PRIORITY IMPLICATIONS
Children and Young People - The sampling programme includes
school meals and school meal ingredients. Children who eat healthy
are more likely to become healthy adults and are likely to be more
focussed in class.
Safer and Stronger Communities – Nil.
Healthier Communities and Older People - Diet influences health.
Many of the analyses performed check the accuracy of nutritional
labelling and claims. Accurate nutritional labelling is important to allow
informed customer choice. Takeaway and restaurant meals generally
have no nutritional labelling and some have been found to be high in
salt. We are working with businesses to reduce salt levels.
Economic Development and the Environment - The sampling
programme includes samples taken from established and new food
manufacturing businesses that benefit from the analytical information
supplied and the opinion and advice associated with it.
Service Delivery Plan. Samples referred to were taken in accordance with the programme mentioned in the 2009-10 Service Delivery Plan. L:\S3 - Committee and Elected Members\S3.2 - AATS\S3.2.10 - AATS 1011\24 June\Agenda 9 Public Analysts Report.doc
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer Joint Services
Contact Officer: Duncan Campbell, Morley
Telephone No: 0113 383 7575
Fax No: 0113 383 7551
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
L:\S3 - Committee and Elected Members\S3.2 - AATS\S3.2.10 - AATS 1011\24 June\Agenda 9 Public Analysts Report.doc
the quarterly update on training courses provided by the Health Promotion Team Sexual Health Awareness: Basic Level (2 days) Thursday 18th & Friday 19th September 2008, 9.30am to 4.30pm Bargeman’s Rest, Newport (Captain’s Cabin) A two-day introductory course on sexual health promotion that explores attitudes, builds on knowledge and develops practical skills for working with clients