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Europe: UK opens facility for reporting on food crime

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Food Standards Agency (FSA) said the National Food Crime Unit has launched Food Crime Confidential, a reporting facility where anyone with suspicions about food crime can report them safely and in confidence, over the phone or through email.

The facility is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry.

The FSA’s National Food Crime Unit (NFCU) works with partners to protect people from serious criminal activity that impacts the safety or authenticity of food and drink they consume.

Food crime involves dishonesty at any stage in the production or supply of food.

It is often complex and likely to be seriously detrimental to consumers, businesses or the general public interest.

Suspicions include:

•food or drink that contains things which it should not,

•methods used in the workplace for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that do not seem quite right, and

•an item of food or drink says it is of a certain quality or from a specific place or region, but it does not appear to be.

“The facility is open to anyone who has information about food which is being dishonestly produced, manufactured or sold,” says head of Food Crime Andy Morling.

“We particularly want to hear from those who work in or around the UK food industry.”

“We recognize that picking up the phone to pass on suspicions about an employer or an associate can be a big deal.”

“That’s why we’ll ensure the information provided will be handled sensitively and professionally.”