‘Food Crime Confidential’ – a reporting facility where food crime can be reported safely and in confidence – has now been launched by the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU). This is the unit set up by the Government in response to the probe into the recent horse meat scandal.
This reporting facility allows anyone with suspicions about food crime to report them safely and in confidence over the ‘phone and via email. The facility is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry.
Police and the authorities say food crime is becoming a major problem: international crime syndicates are said to be diversifying their operations from drug trafficking and armed robbery into fraudulent foods. The NFCU was recommended by Professor Chris Elliott, who was commissioned by the Government to look into the UK food chain. The unit comprises a specialist team within the Food Standards Agency.
The 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.
NFCU would like to receive any information relating to suspected dishonesty involving food, drink or animal feed. In addition to identifying and being able to tackle specific instances of food crime, such information will help us learn more about the circumstances that make offending possible.
The National Food Crime Unit would like to hear from anyone if they have suspicions including:
- That food or drink contains things which it shouldn’t
- That methods used in your workplace for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food do not seem quite right
- That an item of food or drink says it is of a certain quality or from a specific place or region, but it doesn’t appear to be.
They can be reached on 0207 276 8787 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.