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Review urges unannounced audits and zero-tolerance

A national food crime prevention network with unannounced audits and a zero-tolerance approach will help protect consumers from more incidents like the horsemeat scandal, a government-commissioned report has said.

In the final draft of the long-awaited report, Professor Chris Elliott called for a "robust, effective" Food Crime Unit to protect the industry and consumers from criminal activity.

Last year horsemeat was found in products that had been labelled as containing beef. Credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Consumers must be put first by ensuring that their needs in relation to food safety and food crime prevention are the "top priority", Professor Elliott added.

Horsemeat report urges Food Crime Unit creation

The final report into the horsemeat scandal has made a number of recommendations to "improve the integrity and assurance of food supply networks".

They include:

  • Put the consumers first by ensuring that their needs in relation to food safety and food crime prevention are the top priority
  • Create a robust, effective Food Crime Unit to protect the food industry and consumers from criminal activity
  • Zero tolerance approach to food fraud by improving intelligence gathering
  • Introduce unannounced audit checks by the food industry
  • Support the development of whistleblowing and reporting of food crime
  • Improve lab testing capacity and capability to ensure a standardised approach for food testing
  • Encourage the food industry to question the source of their supply chain

Horsemeat report: Buying policies 'matter for concern'

ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

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