The determination of trace elements in food and soil samples by atomic absorption spectrometry was investigated. A coprecipitation procedure with holmium hydroxide was used for separation-preconcentration of trace elements. Trace amounts of copper(II), manganese(II), cobalt(II), nickel(11), chromium(III), iron(III), cadmium(II), and lead(II) ions were coprecipitated with holmium hydroxide in 2.0 M NaOH medium. The optimum conditions for the coprecipitation process were investigated for several commonly tested experimental parameters, such as amount of coprecipitant, effect of standing time, centrifugation rate and time, and sample volume. The precision, based on replicate analysis, was lower than 10% for the analytes. In order to verify the accuracy of the method, the certified reference materials BCR 141 R calcareous loam soil and CRM 025-050 soil were analyzed. The procedure was successfully applied for separation and preconcentration of the investigated ions in various food and soil samples. An amount of the solid samples was decomposed with 15 mL concentrated hydrochloric acid-concentrated nitric acid (3 + 1). The preconcentration procedure was then applied to the final solutions. The concentration of trace elements in samples was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry.