food crime (10)

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The UK National Food Crime Unit has launched a new newsletter. 

This newsletter is intended to keep you informed of what the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) believe to be the current issues that are affecting the food industry. It is aimed at all sectors. It aims to improve awareness of significant or new trends in the food industry in order to strengthen the overall response to food crime.

 

The first edition includes articles on:

  • Covid-19
  • Theft of Meat
  • European Distribution Fraud
    (EDF)
  • Food Service Sector
  • Cannabis edibles - THC laced sweets
  • Shellfish allergy triggered by straws
  • Mass culling of birds

If you want to receive copies of the NFCU's Food Crime Newsletters then sign up at NFCU.Outreach@food.gov.uk. or become a Member of the Food Authenticity Network for free and they will be emailed, when available, with our Monthly Highlights Emails.

 

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7983965864?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) and Food Standards Scotland’s Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU) have published an assessment of food crime threats to the UK.

The Food Crime Strategic Assessment examines areas of the food supply chain which may be vulnerable to food crime, as well identifying emerging threats which need to be addressed. 

The assessment found that most food crime relates to two broad activities – either selling something of little or no value to the food chain as edible and marketable, or selling passable food, drink or feed as a product with greater volume or more desirable attributes. In practice, this could include replacing ingredients with cheaper and inferior materials, falsely extending use-by dates, or deliberately marketing unsafe products as being fit for human consumption. 

The NFCU have identified priority areas of work for this year in their control strategy. These areas include combatting the selling of dangerous non-foods sold for human consumption, preventing illegal shellfish entering the food chain, and increasing understanding of the use of online platforms to facilitate food crime. The Unit will continue its work with local authorities, law enforcement agencies and the food industry to prevent and protect against incidences of food crime and take action when they occur. 

The SSFCIU has also published its Control Strategy 2020/21, which outlines the food crime priorities and actions being taken to prevent food crime, detect and deter criminality and prosecute offenders. The Control Strategy looks to manage the threat of food crime and set out a clear path in what is a complex and challenging area. This strategy is informed by the UK’s Food Crime Strategic Assessment which FSS developed jointly with Food Standards Agency (FSA). This work assessed information and intelligence from a range of sources and was supported by contributions from partner agencies and industry.

Further information can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A freedom of information request by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) to the FSA's National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) revealed that in 2018 there were 1,193 food crimes recorded. Examples of food crime include the use of stolen food in the supply chain, unlawful slaughter, diversion of unsafe food, adulteration, substitution or misrepresentation, and document fraud. The most common food crime recorded by the NFCU is the ‘knowing sale of food substances not suitable for human consumption’, which could have consequences for public health. In 2018, there were 310 reported cases in this category, as compared to 73 in the previous year.

3689023291?profile=RESIZE_710x  Read the article here

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3549856866?profile=RESIZE_710xRachel Gullaksen, Sean Daly and Malcolm Burns (from left to right) looking at multispectral imaging applications for food authenticity

The Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) aims to help protect businesses and consumers from fraudulent supply chains through building relationships with industry, delivering crime prevention initiatives and conducting thorough, proportionate investigations where necessary. This is to support the Food Standard Agency to deliver its overarching strategy that “food is safe and is what it says it is”.

Following an increase to its budget, the NFCU has seen significant extension of the unit’s capabilities and remit in terms of its investigation and crime disruption capabilities and the prevention of food crime. As part of its outreach programme and as a follow-up to a meeting between Darren Davies, Head of the NFCU and the Government Chemist, Julian Braybrook and Selvarani Elahi in May 2019, colleagues from the NFCU visited LGC.

Selvarani Elahi gave a presentation on the Food Authenticity Network, highlighting the benefits of closer collaboration between this growing global network and the NFCU, both of which were created by the UK government to address the recommendations of the Elliott Review.

NFCU colleagues were taken on a tour of LGC’s National Measurement Laboratories where LGC staff demonstrated research on a range of technologies from point-of-use screening to confirmatory methods capable of combating food crime or food fraud .

 

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The National Food Crime Unit intercepted consignments of coconut water imported to the UK via the Port of Felixstowe earlier this year and analysed 12 samples. Of those, seven tested positive for sugar from external sources, such as sugar derived from starch, sugar cane or maize.

In total, nearly 400 tonnes of coconut water were seized or removed from the market, though the FSA stressed none of the products posed a risk to public health.

Read the full article from The Grocer here.

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European Food Crime‏ publishes a paper that argues that food fraud, rather than being an ‘exogenous’ phenomenon perpetrated by externally organized (transnational) ‘criminal enterprise’, is better understood as an ‘endogenous’ phenomenon within the food system where legitimate occupational actors and organizations are in some way necessarily involved.
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The National Food Crime Unit has today launched Food Crime Confidential. This is a reporting facility where anyone with suspicions about food crime can report them safely and in confidence, over the phone or through email. The facility is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry.

The FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) works with partners to protect people from serious criminal activity that impacts the safety or authenticity of food and drink they consume.

Food crime involves dishonesty at any stage in the production or supply of food. It is often complex and likely to be seriously detrimental to consumers, businesses or the general public interest.

NFCU would like to receive any information relating to suspected dishonesty involving food, drink or animal feed. In addition to identifying and being able to tackle specific instances of food crime, such information will help us learn more about the circumstances that make offending possible.

For further information on this service.

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The Food Crime Annual Strategic Assessment (FCASA), carried out by the FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) on behalf of the FSA and Food Standards Scotland, examines the scale and nature of the food crime threat to the UK’s £200 billion food and drink industry. The assessment will inform the NFCU’s priorities over the next year. 

Read more detail at: http://www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/news/2016/15017/the-food-standards-agency-fsa-has-today-published-the-first-assessment-of-food-crime-in-the-uk

Read the Report at: http://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/fsa-food-crime-assessment-2016.pdf

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Andy Morling, the Head of FSA's National Food Crime Unit, responds to questions about the activities of the new Unit formed in March 2015.

Read the full article in Food Science & Technology Vol 30 Issue 1 March 2016 p11-13 or on-line at:

http://www.fstjournal.org/interview/30-1/andy-morling

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