‘Prioritise food fraud or risk another horsemeat scandal’

Another horsemeat scandal could happen if enforcement authorities fail to prioritise food fraud, according to professor Chris Elliott, author of the food supply chain review following the debacle.

“A great deal of headway has been made since the publication of the Elliott Review into the Integrity and Assurance of Food Supply Networks,” said Elliott, who has linked ‘horsegate’ to the disappearance of 50,000 horses across Europe. “Plus, we’ve seen the establishment of the Food Standard Agency’s [FSA's] Food Crime Unit [FCU], which is beginning to have an impact.

“However, food fraud must remain a priority – amongst many competing priorities for enforcement authorities – if we are to maintain that progress and ensure we see no recurrence of previous scandals.”

As part of a major shake up of food safety and hygiene regulations announced today (July 19), the FSA said it aimed to boost the FCU's powers.

Elliott’s comments came ahead of a conference in September at which he plans to address the issue.

Elliott, professor of food safety and director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University, Belfast aims to tell delegates at the Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference on 26 September 2017, at Doncaster Racecourse that work still needs to be done to ensure food fraud is successfully tackled.

The conference is being organised by Highfield Qualifications, an awarding organisation for food safety qualifications.

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