In recent years, the issue of food fraud has become both widely discussed within the food industry and seemingly more prevalent, with incidents happening worldwide. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of different types of anti-fraud tools within the UK food industry. The study utilised an online survey questionnaire and food manufacturing companies were invited to participate in the study via email and calls for participation through industry networks i.e. Food Integrity Intelligence Network (FIIN), the Federation of Bakers and the Food and Drink Federation. Nineteen food manufacturers returned the completed survey. Of the food businesses surveyed, most used their own in-house food fraud vulnerability assessment (FFVA) tools followed by the Campden Threat Assessment and Critical Control Point (TACCP). Campden TACCP is the evaluation of threats, identification of vulnerabilities and implementation of controls of the entire production process. The threats controlled by TACCP include economically motivated adulteration (EMA) and malicious contamination. Around one third of the companies reported being victims of food fraud. Food manufacturers were divided about the impact of conducting food fraud vulnerability assessments. Half of the food manufacturers were optimistic about the impact of FFVA whilst the rest were uncertain or negative. Positive impacts include raising awareness and ensuring integrity of food supply chain whilst negative views were associated with cost and concerns for brand reputation. The adoption and conduct of FFVA is still at its infancy and the full impact remains to be seen. However, with time and constant vigilance from the food industry, FFVA will benefit the sector and the safety and integrity of the food supply chain.
- control measures, food integrity, fraud, vulnerability assessment