On 28 November 2016, the National Food Crime Unit launched ‘Food Crime Confidential’, which is a phone and email reporting or ‘whistleblowing’ facility. Anyone can use the service, but it is targeted mainly at those working in or around the food industry, to allow them to report suspicions in confidence. Food Crime is defined by the Food Standards Agency (“FSA”) as ‘Financially motivated dishonesty relating to food production or supply, which is either complex or results in serious detriment to consumers, businesses or the overall public’. The Unit in particular want to hear about suspicions in relation to:
- food or drink that has potentially been adulterated or substituted;
- methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that appears illegal or substandard; and
- companies or businesses that are selling items of food or drink that purport to be of a certain quality, suggest health benefits or claim to be from a specific place or region, but do not appear genuine or are suspected to be fake.