The new service – Food Crime Confidential – would allow anyone with suspicions about food crime to report them safely and confidentially over the phone or through email.
The NFCU urged people to contact the organisation if they suspected dishonesty in any part of the food chain, including suspicious activities concerning drink and animal feed.
The organisation listed three key offences that it was targeting with the hotline: adulterated or substituted food, illegal labelling and transport and food with fake claims.
Consumers and members of the industry were encouraged to report any food or drink that had potentially been adulterated or substituted.
Illegal or substandard
The NFCU hoped Food Crime Confidential would also be used to report methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that appear illegal or substandard.
Food crime hit list
The National Food Crime Unit would like to hear from anyone if they have suspicions about:
- Food or drink that has potentially been adulterated or substituted
- Methods used in workplaces for producing, processing, storing, labelling or transporting food that appeared illegal or substandard
- Companies or businesses that are selling items of food or drink that purport to be of a certain quality, suggest health benefits or claim to be from a specific place or region, but do not appear genuine or are suspected to be fake.
Finally, the organisation urged people to report firms that were selling products that purported to be of a certain quality, suggested health benefits or claimed to be from a specific place or region, but did not appear genuine or were suspected to be fake.
Head of food crime at the Food Standards Agency Andy Morling said the NFCU wanted to hear from industry insiders.
“We recognise that picking up the phone to pass on suspicions about an employer or an associate can be a big deal,” said Morling.
“That’s why we’ll ensure the information provided will be handled sensitively and professionally.”
Report it in confidence
Morling said the launch of Food Crime Confidential would ensure those with information about food crime could report it in confidence.
“The facility is open to anyone who has information about food which is being dishonestly produced, manufactured or sold,” added Morling.
Anyone who suspects, or has any information on, a food related crime can call 0207 276 8787, or email email@example.com" target="_self">firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the NFCU achieved three key goals over the past year, Morling claimed in this exclusive video interview below, filmed at Food Manufacture’s safety conference.
These achievements were: forging strong partnerships with local authorities, engaging with global law enforcement agencies and building a greater understanding of nature of the threat posed by food crime.