PHE's FW&E laboratories protect the public from significant health threats associated with food, water and environmental hazards.
Public Health England’s food, water and environmental (FW&E) laboratories provide:
- accredited specialist microbiology tests on food, dairy, water and environmental samples
- expert advice on the threat to health from pathogens found in food, water and dairy products and how these can be identified and controlled
- training for staff from organisations such as local authorities and port health authorities
- results from tests and interpretation, which can be used as evidence for prosecutions in food poisoning and environmental contamination outbreaks
- results from public health investigations and local and national surveys, which help PHE understand how changes (such as effects of new food practices, or new legislation) may affect public health
- research and development, including developing and applying new techniques to detect emerging and evolving pathogens, and to produce more rapid and more informative test results and analysis
The UK’s national reference laboratory (NRL) for food microbiology is responsible for official controls on specific areas of food microbiology.