I try every week to look for topics that seem like they could blur the food safety line. This topic really tops the charts when it comes to trying to throw people for a loop.
When thinking of food fraud, I was under the impression that it was just companies marketing their products as something they are not. When reading further into it, I found out that food fraud is technically “a collective term used to encompass the deliberate and intentional substitution, addition, tampering, or misrepresentation of food, food ingredients, or food packaging; or false or misleading statements made about a product, for economic gain.” – Yikes.
We are all aware of the typical sticks and wood used as fillers for ground coffee, who knows what in crushed black pepper and what we think is honey. It’s scary to think that there is so much more to consider when it comes to food fraud.
So basically creating false documentation and claiming that you are certified to a standard, would be food fraud. Another example would be a juice company adding clouding agents to make them look “fresh squeezed.” Yeah, no thanks.
Another example would be if a disgruntled employee were to adulterate the food by adding something such as nuts to a nut free production line. People do this to get the company in trouble however, this is considered food fraud and must be controlled by implementing a food defense plan.
So we all know to be weary of ground coffee, crushed black pepper and honey, along with its whereabouts, but remember that food fraud is much more complicated than that. That’s why there are companies out there like ours to try and avoid these situations.
Enjoy your next meal!
Shannon Nute, MBA
Director of Communications
ASI Food Safety