Service(s) related to this article: Food Safety and Quality
With the world seemingly getting smaller and smaller, Food Fraud is one of the most hot-button and pressing issues facing the food industry today. With food products being imported from all over the world, the risk of Food Fraud is now at an all-time high; but what really is Food Fraud and how can you prevent your company from becoming a victim?
Food Fraud is defined as the economically motivated manipulation or adulteration of food products. It encompasses the deliberate and intentional substitution, dilution, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging for economic gain. One estimate by the Congressional Research Service, variations of Food Fraud have been linked to anywhere between $10 to $15 billions of dollars in cost per year as of 2014. The seafood industry with species substitution, the meat and poultry industry with grading misrepresentation and the cheese industry with composition fraud are just a few examples of the most common ways that Food Fraud is prevalent.
The opportunity to source from a global marketplace brings to light novel food ideas, unique flavors and the ability to service individuals from every walk of life. However, many of the countries that provide these distinctive experiences, also face some of the worst Food Fraud cases. The question then becomes, what is being done to corral the Food Fraud issue world-wide? Many global players have taken the initiative to create fail safes of their own, including methods such as DNA and isotope testing, trust seals (product integrity compliance standards), as well as chemical composition and purity testing. It is equally important for processors to partner with only reputable suppliers and manufacturers who have a plan in place to deter, detect and monitor all food chain supply activities on an ongoing basis. Processors should confirm with suppliers that their products are safe and have not been exposed to adulteration of any kind.
In addition to this, the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) is beginning to focus on this issue and is working on setting up new standards for food safety management systems that are strictly focused on preventing food fraud at the source. Leading food safety certification schemes, such as the Safe Quality Foods Institute (SQFI) and British Retail Consortium (BRC), have been adding new requirements to make an assessment of fraud vulnerability an essential part of the certification process.
So how do you prepare to prevent food fraud and develop your own plan against the risks that may affect your company?
At dicentra, we offer development assistance, pre-assessment and certification against recognized schemes under the Global Food Safety Institute that require prevention against food fraud. We can help you conduct your raw material or product vulnerability assessments to help you determine hazards and controls in addition to the development of a food safety system that meets all the requirements of a leading food safety certification program. dicentra provides sought-after guidance on product and marketing compliance, quality assurance and safety standards, research and development, new ingredient assessments and overall regulatory strategies for food and health-related products sold in North American marketplaces. We can also assist you with your marketing material reviews from labels, brochures, advertisements to websites for Canada and the USA. We can be reached at 1-866-647-3279 or firstname.lastname@example.org.