Food agencies in the United Kingdom have raised resource concerns in a report on food standards.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) published a report reviewing food standards across the UK. It looked at whether they have improved, declined or stayed the same in 2022 and is the second such analysis since the UK left the European Union. 

Food standards were judged to have remained stable in 2022, despite pressures including inflation, labor shortages and the war in Ukraine. However, there are gaps in roles needed to keep food safe, such as vets and food inspectors.

Continue Reading UK food agencies highlight lack of staff in food standards report

The cost of food fraud in the United Kingdom is significant and takes many forms, according to a report.

Analysis found the cost of food fraud to consumers, businesses, and government is between £410 million ($504 million) and £1.96 billion per year ($2.4 billion).

Including prevention costs, the burden of food crime on businesses is £268 million ($330 million) per year, more significant than the burden to the government of £84 million ($103 million) and individuals of £58 million ($71 million).

Excluding prevention costs, the average is estimated at £87,000 ($107,000) for minor cases and £4.3 million ($5.3 million) for

Continue Reading UK report reveals ‘significant’ cost of food fraud

Food agencies in the United Kingdom have advised that slush ice drinks should not be sold to children younger than age 5. 

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued voluntary industry guidance on glycerol in slush ice drinks after two children fell sick in Scotland in Lanarkshire in 2021 and in Edinburgh in 2022. Both required hospitalization and had symptoms consistent with glycerol intoxication. 

Glycerol is an ingredient in slush ice drinks to prevent the liquid from freezing solid. It is allowed as an additive and there are no limits. Manufacturers can add as much of

Continue Reading UK food agencies advise young children to avoid slushies because of glycerol

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has opened a comment period on proposed additional powers for the National Food Crime Unit (NFCU).

The measures would allow food crime officers to be lawfully on premises and assist with searches, following an arrest by police. This would reduce the need for support from local authorities and the police. 

NFCU currently relies on an agreement with the National Police Chiefs’ Council. If the unit is granted section 18 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) powers of search and entry, while a police presence is still likely to be needed in case arrests are required, it would help.

Continue Reading FSA consults on enhanced powers for food crime unit

The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SCFCIU) has secured its first major conviction since the agency was created in 2015.

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) welcomed the sentencing of Jamie George, who supplied the public with a potentially fatal substance sold as a diet pill for weight loss.

The 32-year-old was sentenced at Stirling Sheriff Court to 37 months in jail for distributing 2,4-dinitrophenol (DNP), a toxic industrial chemical. The gym boss was convicted on July 4 after pleading guilty to supplying DNP, a yellow powder, usually made into tablet or capsule form.

George pleaded guilty to a charge that

Continue Reading Scottish food crime unit secures a first conviction

There is a broader consideration these days of what safe and authentic food actually means, according to the chief executive of Food Standards Scotland.

Geoff Ogle told attendees at the Government Chemist Conference this week that in recent years consumers have expanded expectations and understanding of the food system to include sustainability and ethical factors.

Ogle’s presentation mentioned Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia invading Ukraine, food prices and inflation, and food security.

Scottish consumer tracker data has shown prices are a major concern but standards are not as people trust that the work of regulators protects them. However, potential

Continue Reading Government Chemist event focuses on safe and authentic food

The number of patients in a Salmonella outbreak in the United Kingdom has increased to more than 130.

It was previously reported that 81 people were sick in the UK as part of a multi-country Salmonella Mbandaka outbreak. As of early March, there are 132 UK cases, according to the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Whole genome sequencing confirmed a microbiological link between ready-to-cook chicken breast manufactured in Ukraine, and cases in Finland, Estonia, and the UK. The chicken was supplied to the UK from Ukraine via the Netherlands, and a company in the Netherlands has recalled products sent to the

Continue Reading UK reveals more sick in multi-country Salmonella outbreak

David Lohr was sentenced in Arizona on Oct. 27 to 10 years probation. The sentence is in addition to a federal prison sentence in 2021. Lohr was charged with tampering and adding poison or other harmful substances to food at multiple retail stores within the Phoenix metropolitan area in Oct. 2018.

According to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, the charges were one count of Criminal Damage, a class two felony, and two counts of Adding Poison or Other Harmful Substances to Food, Drink, or Medicine.

David Lohr was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Lohr was first arrested in Oct. 2018

Continue Reading Man convicted of poisoning food at retail stores

Meat, seafood, and alcohol are among industries identified as being at high risk for food crime, according to a Scottish food crime unit.

A strategy for 2022 to 2025 outlines the priorities and actions being taken to prevent food crime, detect and deter criminality and prosecute offenders. The practice is often financially motivated but can pose a serious risk to public health. Priorities are reviewed annually.

The Scottish Food Crime and Incidents Unit (SFCIU) is part of Food Standards Scotland.

Officials said it was “highly likely” that food crime was taking place in the meat sector but it was challenging to

Continue Reading Food crime ‘likely’ in meat and alcohol sectors, says Scottish agency

Cyber-attacks and ransomware are among the major novel threats to food firms, according to speakers during a panel discussion about food fraud and defense.

Tim Lang, Jennifer van de Ligt and Jon Woody spoke about food defense, and the many definitions, at a recent Health Talks webinar organized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Lang, professor of food policy at City University London’s Centre for Food Policy, said the term “food defense” is being used too narrowly.

“The challenges in the food system are not just about food safety, they include climate change and societal and political challenges. Think only

Continue Reading Cyber threats and current landscape put food defense on agenda