How to manage food fraud in food industries

Background: Food fraud represents a risk to the food industry and food business operators are required to conduct a food fraud vulnerability assessment to be in compliance with GFSI requirements. There is currently no globally-recognized standardized process for food fraud mitigation and some food business operators have found meeting the requirements to be challenging.

Scope and approach: This work summarizes the main aspects of publicly-available food fraud vulnerability assessment (FFVA) tools and resources, describes the general FFVA process based on a consensus of the previous work, and highlights gaps in this process that should be addressed.

Key findings and conclusions: The main gaps identified were: appropriately grouping and prioritizing products/ ingredients, evaluating the vulnerability of multi-component finished products, collecting and evaluating supporting data, evaluating potential public health and economic impacts, resource constraints among small/ medium-sized companies and in developing countries, understanding and creating standards for analytical detection methods for fraud, and evaluating fraud vulnerability in food packaging.

This work can support discussions at a global level that may eventually lead to a consensus process for a FFVA, for example, those conducted under the auspices of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.