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Tesco Laboratory Approval Scheme
Updated Tesco Whistleblower PDF Print E-mail

An updated version of the Tesco Whistleblower COP (80)418 has been placed in the Standards and Performance area of the TLA Scheme Repository. The introduction now details the aims and scope of the document and emphasises its relevance to laboratories carrying out analysis of Tesco products. The criteria and management procedures required for such schemes remain the same.

Latest Member News PDF Print E-mail

The Tesco Laboratory Approval Scheme Standard has been updated and revision 3 is now available on the TLAS website. The key changes to the Standard are:


  • Some minor changes to Chapter 4 regarding cross contamination control and environmental monitoring.
  • Some changes to Chapter 6 regarding transportation of samples and checking of samples on receipt.
  • Significant changes to Chapter 7, “Test methods”:
    • Clarifying the method authorization process, and making it easier to understand how new methods or modifications can be authorized between audits.
    • Requiring laboratories conducting Listeria detection tests to also have an approved Listeria enumeration test available.


The TLAS protocol has also been updated to reflect the changes to the Standard, and a new application form is available for new and modified method approval.  Both are available on the TLAS website.

Download the letter launching the new version by clicking this link

Introducing the TLA Scheme PDF Print E-mail

The Tesco Laboratory Approval Scheme (TLA Scheme) is an initiative developed by Tesco to ensure that its products are tested using the most appropriate, sensitive and up-to-date methods.

Food safety is our top priority and it is essential that we have complete confidence in the results that are generated by our testing activities.

It is Tesco policy that Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter and E. coli O157 detection and/or enumeration testing on its products must take place using approved methods in approved laboratories. Approved laboratories will have had their methodologies reviewed and have successfully completed a practical audit to the TLA Scheme Microbiology Standard.

Laboratories wishing to take part in the Scheme may apply by completing the Registration Form available on this website to registered users.

The TLA Scheme Microbiology Standard and supporting documentation are published in the member’s area of the site and access to them will be provided following registration.

Pre-requisites for joining the Scheme are:

• The laboratory carries out or has received a request to carry out testing on food and beverage products manufactured for Tesco. Where appropriate the laboratory should be able to show evidence of interest from a Tesco supplier in placing work at the laboratory.

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The laboratory carries out testing for one or more of the following:

• Salmonella spp. detection

• Listeria spp. detection and enumeration

• Campylobacter spp. detection and enumeration

• E. coli O157 detection.

The laboratory holds accreditation to the ISO17025 Standard or equivalent.

The Scheme is managed on behalf of Tesco by Campden BRI Limited. Review and approval of methods is undertaken by Norpath TLC Limited. A Governance Board which includes independent experts in food microbiology and laboratory management has oversight of the project to ensure consistency and impartiality.

The approval process begins with a paperwork assessment of the methodology used to carry out the relevant pathogen testing, followed by a practical audit in the laboratory facility.

The practical audit will be carried out and monitored by Campden BRI Limited who will communicate their findings to Tesco. The timing of the practical audit will be arranged with each individual laboratory. Registration, method approval and audit fees apply. Details are available on application.

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