Identifying food fraud in you business

Food fraud is not a new thing, but lately there has been a fair bit of media coverage world-wide. Check to see if you have identified potential food fraud hazards in your food business.

Watch Episode 15




Welcome to HACCP Mentor Review # 15. In case this is your first time here, I am Amanda Evans and I appreciate you stopping by. In this episode we look at HACCP certificates for approved suppliers, documenting your hazards, the new international standard for Product Recall and meeting your food fraud requirements. There is a bit to get through, so let’s get started.

Approved Supplier HACCP certificates

One of the criteria’s that many food businesses use to assess suitability to become an approved supplier, is that they have 3rd party HACCP certification. When you do your reviews of your suppliers, make sure that you check:

  • That the scope of the certificate matches what they are supplying to you.
  • That the factory address matches where you buying from. Some companies may have multiple sites but only one is certificated.
  • Have they been certificated by a reputable 3rd party certifier. This also means checking that the certification body is also scoped for a particular standard or industry.

Documenting hazards in your hazard Analysis

One of the jobs that I do is undertake HACCP plan reviews on behalf of insurance companies. What they are looking for is to see that you have got your risks covered (since they are the ones who have to fork out if you get have a recall or heaven forbid – poison or kill someone. Anyway, one suggestion that I always make in my reports is around hazard identification.

Please state the actual hazard and the source of the hazard. This will enable you to allocate the correct control measure that will therefore control the hazard (when implemented correctly). Hazard identification and control is no time to be airy fairy about your potential risks.

Food Poisoning Outbreaks

The US FDA has reported a multi-state outbreak of Salmonella which has been linked to imported cucumbers. At time of report, 73 people have been infected with Salmonella. The cucumbers have been identified as coming from two firms located in Mexico.

New ISO Standard for Product Recall  Food-fraud-haccp-mentor

Two new international standards in product recall have been released in the past month. One of the standards, ISO 10393:2013, Consumer product recall – Guidelines for suppliers, provides guidance on how to establish, implement and manage a consumer product recall programme. This will be most helpful in the food industry, especially where individual countries do not have any legislation or legal requirements on how to manage a food recall.

Action Item of the Week

This week’s action item is a really easy one. Check that staff change rooms are tidy. This means no rubbish lying around, shoes and protective items are stored correctly and there is sufficient space allocated for your workers personal and work items.

Food Fraud

Food fraud is not a new concept but since the horse meat adulteration issue in the UK and Europe I thought it would be a good idea to talk about some basics of this type of hazard. Food fraud is committed when food is deliberately placed on the market, for financial gain, with the intention of deceiving the consumer. The two main types of food fraud include the sale of food which is unfit and potentially harmful and the deliberate misdescription of food.

If your audit food standard requires you to identify potential fraud hazards within your industry or for foods that you sell, there is a great resource called USP Food Fraud Database that you can look at examples.

Wrap Up

That wraps up episode 15. As usual, I would love you feedback so just leave me a comment below. Until next time, I am Amanda Evans for




3 thoughts on “Identifying food fraud in you business”

  1. I have worked in food fraud on and off since 1960 (started with detecting water dilution of milk). There are two references I would recommend as reading that opens your mind to the field:
    1. Joe Bennett, 2012, Double Happiness – How Bullshit Works (author from New Zealand)
    2. David Parry and Patrick Withrow, 1991, The Jacamar Nest (this is fiction; but has some interesting food related fraud/crime issues and the book is particulaly relevent because of the recent Boston marathon bombing)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get free HACCP advice and updates

Find out how to better implement and manage your HACCP, legal and food safety compliance requirements by joining the HACCP Mentor newsletter.

Scroll to Top