The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has responded to industry concerns over sharing information on food crime by launching a new reporting facility.
Food Crime Confidential allows anyone with suspicions about food crime to report them safely and in confidence, over the phone or through email. The facility, which wil be hosted by the National Food Crime Unit (NDCU), is particularly targeted at those working in or around the UK food industry and tries to address fears that the FSA’s duty for transparency could prevent businesses from sharing sensitive information on suspicious activity.
The NFCU has asked for businesses to share information relating to suspected dishonesty involving food, drink or animal feed. In particular, it is seeking intelligence on food or drink that contains things which it shouldn’t; methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that do not seem quite right; or circumstances where 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.
“We recognise 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,” said head of food crime at the FSA, Andy Morling.