Food safety conference

Which? names three top lessons from horsemeat

By Michael Stones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food safety Food standards agency Food

The need to identify opportunities for fraud along Britain’s complex food supply chain was one of three key lessons to be learned from horsemeat crisis, according to consumer watchdog Which?

In this exclusive video, filmed at Food Manufacture’s​ Food safety conference, Sue Davies, chief policy adviser Which? also identified the importance of ensuring more effective and targeted surveillance, coupled with a rethink about how consumer interests are prioritised within food policy.

Which? called for more food safety inspections to help spot the opportunities for deliberate fraud.

Fewer inspections

Speaking earlier at the conference, Andrew Rhodes, chief operating officer at the Food Standards Agency, acknowledged that spending cuts had led to fewer inspections. But he denied this would compomrise food safety​. In fact, compliance with food safety rules had risen over recent years, he said.

Davies repeated claims that the horsemeat crisis was “a wake up call” ​for the food industry and government to make sure they were dealing effectively with “Britain’s ever lengthening supply chain​”.

Consumers’ confidence in the UK food industry had been damaged by the crisis, said Davies. Recent surveys confirmed that consumers were buying a lot less processed meat than before the crisis.

Main sponsors of the conference were Interek, Ishida and Alchemy.

Associated sponsors were NSF, Safefood 360, Softrace and the Institute of Food Research.

Meanwhile, Food Manufacture's​ free, one-hour horsemeat webinar, dedicated to learning the lessons of the crisis, is available here​.

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