While arrangements for identifying and testing for risks to food safety are relatively mature and effective, similar arrangements for the authenticity of food are not. Government has failed to identify the possibility of adulteration of beef products with horsemeat despite indications of heightened risk. A split in responsibilities for food policy between the Food Standards Agency and two Whitehall departments in 2010 has led to confusion among stakeholders about the role of the Agency and Defra in responding to food authenticity incidents. Local authorities said they continue to be unclear on whom to contact in certain areas of food policy. Local authorities reported 1, 380 cases of food fraud in 2012 - up by two-thirds since 2010. The Government recognizes that it needs to address weaknesses in its intelligence gathering and sharing and its understanding of opportunities for fraud throughout the modern food chain. Only one-third of English local authorities record laboratories' test results on the Agency's national database. The total number of food samples tested by official control laboratories in England has gone down by a quarter since 2009-10. Although a substantial amount of testing is carried out by private food businesses, public authorities do not know the amount, nature or results of these tests. Among the NAO's recommendations is that some resource should be shifted from such activities as the inspection of slaughter houses to the checking of the manufacture of processed meat products and the long supply chains involved, but this will require European agreement.The Food Standards Agency, Department for Environment, Food aamp; Rural Affairs, Department of Health Great Britain: National Audit Office. This study ... Links to external websites were valid at the time of publication of this report. The National anbsp;...
|Title||:||National Audit Office - The Food Standards Agency, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Aaffairs, Department of Health: Food Safety and Authenticity in the Preocessed Meat Supply Chain - HC 685|
|Author||:||Great Britain: National Audit Office|
|Publisher||:||The Stationery Office - 2013-10-10|