Past-date meats, mislabelled produce, and powdered shakes sold as health tonics; food fraud is a serious issue for the modern world, with potentially harmful ramifications for consumers and businesses alike.
The National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) describes food fraud as ‘a dishonest act or omission, relating to the production or supply of food, which is intended for personal gain or to cause loss to another party’.
Examples of food fraud include;
- food or drink that has potentially been adulterated or substituted
- illegal or substandard methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food
- businesses selling food or drink that purport to be of a certain quality, suggest health benefits or claim to be from a specific place or region, but do not appear genuine or are suspected to be fake
Food fraud becomes food crime when the scale and potential impact of the activity is considered to be serious, often with a cross-regional, national or international reach. Food crime poses a significant risk to public safety, and can cause a substantial financial loss to consumers or businesses.
2016 saw 156 cases of food fraud, 147 concerning food, and 9 concerning feed. Mislabelling composition was the largest violation observed and the top fraud commodities included; meat products, fish products, fats and oils, poultry meat products and milk.
Food Standards Agency’s NFCU works with partners to protect consumers from serious criminal activity that impacts on the safety or authenticity of the food and drink they consume.
BRS is a central regulatory control system that will assist you in ensuring you are compliant and help protect your business. For more information contact a member of the BRS Team.