UK to set up food crime unit

Sept. 8, 2014

A Food Crime Unit will be established in the United Kingdom to help strengthen consumer confidence in the country’s food.

A Food Crime Unit will be established in the United Kingdom to help strengthen consumer confidence in the country's food, BBC reported.

The special force was one of the recommendations in the recently published Elliott report on food integrity and assurance of food supply networks. Compiled by food security expert Professor Chris Elliott, the report was commissioned after last year's horsemeat scandal.

As well as setting up the new Food Crime Unit, the UK government will work to establish better intelligence gathering and sharing of information to make it harder for criminals to operate.

It will also encourage a culture within the industry of food crime prevention and support the development of a whistleblowing system to facilitate the reporting of food crime.

In addition, the government will replace announced audits with fewer but more comprehensive unannounced audits and the country's network of food analysis laboratories will be improved to ensure that food is tested consistently.

Professor Elliott said that British consumers had one of the safest food systems in the world, but his suggestions would improve the situation even further.

Responding to the report last week, the UK government accepted all the recommendations made and said that it wanted to ensure families have confidence in the food they buy.

"When a shopper picks something up from a supermarket shelf it should be exactly what it says on the label, and we'll crack down on food fraudsters trying to con British consumers," commented Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss.

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