It’s the anniversary of the publication of Professor Chris Elliott’s final report on the integrity and assurance of food.
Prof. Elliott writes for Which? Conversation on the progress that has been made since the horsemeat scandal:
‘On the government front, there’s now the cross-government working group on food integrity and food crime chaired by George Eustice. I’m told this is very much helping to bring together the various elements of the public service that was sadly lacking prior to horse-gate.
‘The National Food Crime Unit is now also operational and lead by a well-respected former senior police officer. Questions are already being asked about what they are up to and if they are being effective in finding and deterring criminal activity in our food system. From my perspective it’s of the utmost important that they are given time and resource to develop an operational capacity and not have to go for a quick win to show their worth.’
He also warns that we’re not out of the woods yet:
‘I finish with a strong note of caution. If you look at the articles Which? has published about food fraud happening in the UK since the scandal and realise that fraud in food supplies is perpetrated by criminal gangs globally then, it’s clear we have still a major challenge ahead.
‘Without the necessary level of vigilance, without the necessary level of resourcing, without a continued change in the culture of the UK food industry and our government’s reaffirmation that they will protect our citizens from food criminals it may happen again. And if it does, our luck may run out.’
Do you think enough has been done to tackle food fraud? Tell Prof. Chris Elliott what you think on Which? Conversation.
In response to our campaign, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has pledged to deliver additional 'priority testing' of lamb dishes from takeaway restaurants across the UK.