The third Auditing Conference organised by the Western Branch of the IFST concentrated on the thorny problems associated with food adulteration and food fraud. The conference showed how auditing has its part to play in the identification and control of both contamination and adulteration in the food industry.
The vulnerability that food has to contamination has recently been highlighted in the news. Some contamination can be accidental but, unfortunately, it can be intentional where fraud and criminal actions are the cause. The conference examined the recent history of events and considered how we are able to identify contamination and adulteration when they happens, what the adulteration or contamination is and if it something that can be prevented. The conference also focused on areas outside of meat related issues, such as ingredients where genetically modified varieties are available, illegal dyes and provenance claims and how these can be controlled. Apart from ingredients control which impact on a company’s financial health, we will also see how ethical trading is handled by one of the leaders in the field.
Abstracts, Presentations and Podcasts
Food Adulteration - the background to the issues
Dr Ellen Norman, Principal Scientist, RSSL
Download Podcast: MP3
Abstract:This presentation will explore the history of food adulteration, looking at how politics and commerce have driven changes in behaviour of those adulterating but also the public perception of this issue. Illustrative examples of the historical and indeed apocryphal stories exhibit a resonance with the modern day adulteration issues faced by all those involved in the provision of our food.
Isotope Analysis to support food Meat Hygiene Auditing
Kim Matthews, Head of R&D, EBLEX. A division of the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board
Abstract:Traceability systems are in place to ensure that pork on retail shelves labelled as British is genuinely from the UK. Nevertheless, objective verification can serve to strengthen supply chain confidence in traceability and reinforce consumer assurance. In a BPEX research project the use of stable isotopes for origin verification of pork was examined. This showed that a reference database could be assembled for the UK against which samples could be compared. Statistical analysis results in a probability that the sample matches the database. This can be used to guide audit activity to focus on areas of uncertainty.
DNA speciation testing - the pros and cons
Barbara Hirst, Senior Associate Principal Scientist DNA & Protein, RSSL
Download Podcast: MP3
Abstract:This presentation will give an overview of sampling – good and bad practice, an explanation of the different ways of testing meat for speciation and the pitfalls and challenges of the testing.
Valid IT - still valid?
Jamie Weall, Senior Food Law Advisor, Exova
Abstract: Valid-IT is a traceability scheme operated on behalf of a number of retailers for nearly a decade but it is still relevant? This short presentation will provide a summary of the existing scheme, the risk material it covers and the risk assessed approach used. We will also identify why this scheme is still relevant and is very much a key part of the retailers due diligence today. It will also identify future potential risk areas where adulteration and food fraud could occur.
Cleaning and Verification to avoid adulteration
Deb Smith, Global R&D Manager/Hygiene Specialist and Peter Littleton, Technical Services Manager, Holchem
Abstract: We will be looking at the use, and validation of, of, cleaning regimes to avoid contamination in food processing environments. The focus will be on the cleaning techniques and equipment relevant to our industry as well as the use of effective cleaning tools.
The View of the Public Analyst
Liz Moran, President, Association of Public Analysts
Ethical Auditing - The M&S approach
Helen McTaggart, Ethical Trading Manager, Marks & Spencer