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Food Standards toughen up on fraudulent food

20 May 2014

With the Food Standards Agency planning to increase their powers of inspection, QADEX has urged food businesses to consider the use of appropriate software to ensure legal compliance throughout their supply chain.

A report by the FSA’s director of legal strategy has recommended that authorities should have the power to seize fraudulent foods and conduct searches for evidence of fraud on company computers and hard drives; powers that will stretch across Europe.

QADEX offers software that can help businesses to monitor their supply chains, apply effective quality management policies and increase food safety and will ensure transparency. Tracey Cranney, operations manager of QADEX, explains: “With the FSA seeking increased powers to investigate companies that they feel might be committing fraud or putting people at risk due to a fault at some point in their supply chain or distribution, it is more important than ever for companies in the food industry to ensure that they are fully accountable for all the food that passes through their premises. Software is available to help managers monitor everything from supply chains to customer complaints, allowing them to act quickly to minimise problems and demonstrate to any investigators that the correct action has been taken.”

The current legislation is more focused on food safety than verifying that food is what it claims to be – these laws have been proven to be ineffective after the pan-European horsemeat scandal, and there are worries among some experts that authorities were not sufficiently alert to the potential for fraud and other criminal activity in the food industry. 

The proposed new legislation will enable authorities to better identify where fraud may take place in the chain. This means that businesses within the food industry must have adequate software to identify fraud early on, or face being implicated.

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