A major new report on the food crime threats facing Britain is set to be published at the end of the year, the Food Standards Agency has revealed.
The report will be compiled by strategic analysts in the FSA’s new food crime unit (FCU), which was set up in the wake of the horsemeat scandal and has been headed up by Andy Morling since the end of March.
The 2015 Food Crime Annual Strategic Assessment would “explore the nature and scale of the food crime threat to the UK”, FSA chief executive Catherine Brown said in an update to the FSA board on Wednesday (3 June).
“This document will drive the wider work of the FCU to ensure that resources are focused where the threat to UK consumers and other interests is demonstrably the greatest,” she said, adding the analysts at the FCU would provide “a single, authoritative, national picture of the nature and dimensions of the current and likely future threat to UK interests from food crime”.
The report was “scheduled for completion by the end of the calendar year,” Brown said in her report.
Following the horsemeat scandal in 2013, food safety expert Professor Chris Elliott of Queen’s University, Belfast, conducted a large-scale review of the integrity of food supply chains in the UK, with a view to assessing the nature and scale of food crime faced by the UK.
It is not clear to what extent the new FSA food crime unit report will build on or overlap with Elliott’s review.
FSA strategic plan
The FSA today published its strategic plan for 2015-20, previously approved by the FSA board back in 2014.
The plan emphasises the FSA’s role in protecting the interests of consumers, with a focus on “the right to be protected from unacceptable levels of risk”; “the right to make choices knowing the facts”; and “the right to the best food future possible”.
In terms of specific food safety threats facing UK consumers campylobacter continues to be a top priority but the FSA also plans to set out and implement a listeria reduction plan over the next five years.