Leading industry bodies have published best practice guidance on assessing and protecting the authenticity of culinary dried herbs and spices and identity vulnerabilities in supply chains.

Launched in response to last year’s concerns about contaminated cumin in a number of fmcg products, the new guide was created by the British Retail Consortium, the Food & Drink Federation and the Seasoning & Spice Association in liaison with the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland.

Its development followed the 2015 Global Chain Analysis Workshop organised by the FSA in collaboration with the FDF and BRC. It provides in-depth advice from SSA members to assist companies using herbs and spices in understanding their role in assuring the integrity of their products.

Food manufacturers are invited to use the information to ensure they have the appropriate measures in place to “confidently play their part in assuring the integrity of these ingredients”, said Kerina Cheesman, FDF policy & food integrity manager.

Elizabeth Andoh-Kesson, food policy advisor at the BRC, added: “This is a really important, practical guide for all food businesses to improve the way they manage a potentially vulnerable supply chain.

“It was great to collaborate with experts from manufacturers and suppliers to make a positive contribution to securing the supply chain and reinforcing consumer confidence.”