Will new Food Crime Unit combat food fraud?Which? welcomes action on horsemeat scandal

05 September 2014

Food fraud investigation More than 30,000 of you have signed our Stop Food Fraud petition

A new Food Crime Unit will be established to crack down on criminal activity in the food industry, the government has announced.

The announcement came in response to recommendations made in the Elliott Review, a government-commissioned investigation into food fraud that was launched in the aftermath of the horsemeat scandal.  

Which? has fed its findings and research into the Elliott Review. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: ‘Consumers must be put first if we are to restore trust in the food industry following the horsemeat scandal.’

We have been campaigning to Stop Food Fraud so consumers can feel confident in the food they buy.

How safe is your food?

Recent Which? research has exposed shocking incidences of food fraud occurring among UK food businesses. When we investigated takeaway food we found high numbers were adulterated. If you're a Which? member you can read the full magazine article what's really in your take away?

Of the 60 lamb takeaways we bought from restaurants in London and Birmingham, 40% had been contaminated with other meats while seven meals contained no lamb at all. If you're not a Which? member but want to know more about our findings, check out the highlights of our takeaway food fraud investigation.

In an earlier investigation, we found that in some areas of the country one in three high and medium-risk food businesses aren’t complying with food hygiene requirements.

Stop Food Fraud

The Food Crime Unit was the main recommendation in the Elliott Review which has just been published. Other suggested measures included improving food testing and carrying out spot-checks in the food supply chain.

Richard Lloyd added: 'It's in the interests of responsible food businesses, as well as consumers, to make sure there are effective controls in place and a zero tolerance approach to food crime. We now want the government to quickly implement all of the recommendations so consumers can be confident in the food they buy.'

More than 30,000 people have pledged their support to our campaign, which aims to make people confident that the food they buy is what it says it is.

More on this...

  • Pledge your support for our campaign to Stop Food Fraud
  • Tell us what you think about the Food Crime Unit by joining our Conversation
  • Keep your food fresher for longer by choosing a Best Buy fridge freezer