PCaW attends Preventing Food Fraud Conference

19th February 2018

High profile scare stories in the food sector clearly demonstrates the urgent need for whistleblowing arrangements to become routine – which is why Public Concern at Work will be attending the Preventing Food Fraud Conference this week to discuss fraud as well as other key issues.

Food scandals are nothing new. Back in the 80s it was Edwina Currie who was forced to quit her role as Health Minister after claiming most of England’s egg production was infected by salmonella, landing her the nickname Eggwina.

A decade late, more than 4.4 million cattle were slaughtered in Britain to eradicate mad cow disease, the deadly illness which saw the European Union ban British beef exports for 10 years from March 1996. CJD, the human version of the disease, is believed to have killed over 220 people.

In 2013 the horse meat scandal revealed foods being advertised as containing beef were found to contain undeclared or improperly declared horse meat – as much as 100% of the meat content in some cases. A smaller number of products also contained other undeclared meats, such as pork.[ The issue came to light when it was reported that horse DNA had been discovered in frozen beefburgers sold in several Irish and British supermarkets.

Back to present day, and undercover footage at a central England plant of chicken supplier 2 Sisters appears to show staff tampering with food safety records. The company subsequently suspended operations at the site in order to re-train staff.

In France, salmonella is found in a factory belonging to French company Lactalis, which has led to 12m recalls of products in 83 countries across the world with prosecutors investigating. The contamination is believed to have occurred as a result of renovations at a factory in northern France that has since been temporarily closed.

If headline news is anything to go by, unfortunately for consumers, we can expect more and more cases to unfold globally…

PCaW will be attending the Preventing Food Fraud Conference on February 22 to discuss whistleblowing arrangements with delegates.