FSA Chief Executive provides update on meat fraud investigation

Posted: 3 May 2023 | | No comments yet

In the midst of a suspected meat fraud investigation, Emily Miles has said that a number of food industry bodies have agreed to work with the FSA to improve the current system.


Providing industry professionals and consumers with an update during the ongoing meat fraud investigation, Emily Miles, Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), has said that numerous food industry organisations have agreed to work with the FSA to “explore improvements to the current system”.

New Food has been keeping its readers updated about an ongoing investigation into suspected meat fraud over the past few months. However, Miles has now stated that she “recently convened a meeting with the food industry to look at where the system could be further strengthened to protect against rogue actors and criminal activity”.

As a result of the meeting, Miles reported that a “number of industry groups and representatives have agreed to work in collaboration with the FSA to explore improvements to the current system”. Some of these include the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS), the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Food Industry Intelligence Network (FIIN) and Red Tractor.

Going forward Miles has said that the FSA will “review the scope for a single telephone number or website that whistleblowers can contact to report concerns about food businesses”. This could be a step forward as there are currently numerous telephone lines run by industry bodies, as well as the FSA.

Commenting on this step, Andrew Opie, Director of Food & Sustainability at the British Retail Consortium, said: “We support the Food Standard Agency’s review to look at improvements to the current system, including exploring a simpler, more refined hotline for whistleblowing, as well as ensuring information is shared as effectively and efficiently as possible to prevent and tackle food crime.”

Miles has also said that the FSA will look into strengthening the role that third-party audits can play in redistributing information to regulators to help prevent food fraud cases.

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Finally, Miles committed to reviewing the “best format and mechanism” that the FSA can use to share intelligence-based alerts to “better warn businesses about problems in supply chains”.

In response to this statement, Helen Sisson, Director and Co-Chair of the Food Industry Intelligence Network, said: “We are fully committed to working with the FSA and our partners in the food industry to strengthen the system.

“It is imperative that the public has confidence in UK food and an important part of that is ensuring food crime in supply chains is identified and dealt with quickly.”

Miles noted that the FSA is currently convening a working group with industry and that the first meeting will take place in May 2023.