UK Government commits to setting up a Food Crime Unit

02 December 2014

In the wake of the horsemeat scandal, Professor Chris Elliott's final report into the integrity and assurance of food supply network was finally published in September 2014.

Professor Elliott's report proposed a systems approach based on eight pillars to ensure the integrity of the food chain.  These pillars are: (1) putting consumers first; (2) zero tolerance to food fraud; (3) a focus on intelligence gathering and sharing; (4) resilient testing facilities and processes; (5) credible audit and assurance regimes; (6) government support for the integrity and assurance of food supply networks; (7) leadership in investigations and enforcement; and (8) effective crisis management.  

In response to the Report, the UK Government has committed to a number of actions aimed at strengthening consumer confidence in food.  These commitments included the setting up of a Food Crime Unit within the Food Standards Agency, improving coordination across government agencies and improving intelligence sharing between government and industry.  The UK government has also committed to ensuring that there is a resilient network of analytical testing laboratories that can be used strategically to test the authenticity of food in the future as well as a more robust supply chain audit system in place.