Carry out testing in food and drink operations

Business Sectors (Suites): Quality and Improvement in Food and Drink Operations
Developed by: Improve
Approved on: 31 Dec 2021



This standard covers the skills and knowledge for carrying out quality tests on food and drink samples.

You need to check and prepare equipment and the environment for testing; prepare test samples; conduct tests; and record test results. You also need to interpret test results and maintain the integrity of samples.

This standard is relevant to you if your role requires you to carry out

quality testing on samples in food and drink operations.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

  1. confirm the specification for testing in accordance with organisational requirements
  2. confirm that the documentation is available for carrying out quality tests on food and drink samples
  3. check that testing equipment is calibrated and in a serviceable condition and identify and report unserviceable equipment in accordance with organisational requirements
  4. confirm that all required resources are available and prepared for use
  5. check the relevant controlled conditions are in place for testing
  6. confirm that the correct sample has been selected for testing
  7. confirm the integrity of samples
  8. carry out tests in line with specification
  9. follow procedures to prevent cross contamination of samples
  10. follow procedures to record relevant information and data
  11. record, investigate and report deviations from expected results to relevant person(s) in accordance with organisational requirements
  12. record any necessary corrective actions in accordance with organisational requirements
  13. clean and store equipment and materials to be re-used in accordance with organisational requirements
  14. handle and dispose of other equipment and materials in accordance with organisational requirements
  15. restore the working area to an appropriate condition in accordance with organisational requirements
  16. store or dispose of sample according to procedure
  17. follow current legal and regulatory requirements for hygiene and environmental standards or instructions

Knowledge and Understanding

You need to know and understand:

  1. the relevant legal and regulatory requirements, hygiene and environmental standards and instructions
  2. the consequences of not meeting relevant legal and regulatory requirements
  3. why standard operating procedures are important and how to use them for maintaining quality
  4. how to prepare testing equipment safely
  5. features of testing equipment and calibration tests that may be required
  6. how to carry out calibration checks on equipment
  7. why it is important to ensure the fitness for purpose and serviceability of equipment
  8. why it is important to report defective equipment
  9. how to identify suitable samples for testing
  10. how to check types of testing and integrity of samples and why this is important
  11. how to safely store and sample preparation methods
  12. how to dispose of testing materials safely
  13. reporting procedures and actions to take for product non-compliance
  14. how to calculate test results
  15. how to assess product against key factors in product specifications using approved methods
  16. acceptable levels of tolerance in quality interpretation and decision-making
  17. why it is important to keep records of assessment
  18. how to make recommendations for corrective actions and what might happen if this is not done
  19. how to access and interpret product specifications
  20. how to ensure there is no cross contamination of samples/tests
  21. how to carry out organoleptic testing


Scope Performance

Scope Knowledge





Links To Other NOS

External Links

Version Number


Indicative Review Date

31 Jan 2025





Originating Organisation


Original URN


Relevant Occupations

Food Production Operatives, Manufacturing Technologies, Plant and Machine Operatives, Process, Plant and Machine Operatives

SOC Code



food; drink; quality; product; standards; testing; samples; traceability