Food fraud and company in-house protection

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Microbiology

Abstract: Food fraud has been around as long as food has been traded. Proliferation of products are taken to a new extent with today´s globalized food industry and extended processing chains. Recent food fraud incidents such as undeclared horsemeat and melamine in milk questions companies’ awareness of food fraud. Responsibility for product authenticity rests on the company selling them and the aim of this study was to investigate how some Swedish companies importing foods of animal origin work with food fraud. What are their measures to protect products, do they rely on third party control of certain food standards, do they make own verifications by sampling and analyzing food products and how do they regard responsibility? All the companies in this study performed some type of testing and analysis to control products. Several of the companies considered working with long-term suppliers as important protection from food fraud. Some performed supplier assessments and based their own measures on this. Subcontractors were seen as an induced risk of fraud however the companies almost exclusively had traceability only one step back in the chain. Third part certifications to food standards were not seen as protection by most respondents. Some companies however controlled suppliers differently depending on if they were certified against private food standards or not. Companies considered the responsibility for product authenticity to rest on them entirely and some considered themselves to have a part of the responsibility. A high responsibility-taking amongst companies is in consent with other studies and is essential for improved work with protection products from food fraud. In order for the situation to be sustainable it is important that this work also becomes more proactive.

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