Over the past decades food supply chains have grown increasingly complex and many of them today’s food products repeatedly cross national boundaries crating more opportunities for criminals to practice food fraud. According to Financial times before a food ends up in a dinner might take 10,000 miles which means a farm to fork journey involves a lot of hands with a lot of opportunities for adulteration, contamination and substandard because of weak links in the controlling chains. This with the growing global population and as the world becomes more complex and interconnected a clear, urgent and compelling need to standardize regulation on an international level presenting regulators to play a key role which means instead of scrambling in their effort to organize a coordinated approach through testing. The consequence of food fraud are estimated to cost legitimate food retailers up to USD 15 billion a year. 

The scale of the challenge is huge and also growing pressure to produce affordable food which in turns puts more pressure on government and regulators. To regain consumer confidence and ensure that the food we are buying is healthy and nutritious ISO 22000(food safety management system) certification in the third parties laboratory is fundamental. Public authorities and private sector also need to work more than ever hand in hand. Certification and international standards can help to mitigate risks.

Of course any conversation on food safety and food fraud has to include the consumer as their role is big. For this ISO 22000 food safety management system helps manufactures ensure food safety and uses traceability and responsibility should not be left entirely to state regulatory bodies even if education and knowledge for consumers are key to play their role. ISO22000 is a world class standard. Furthermore the standard also builds trust by making difference between intentional adulteration and misrepresentation of food ingredients for economic gain where there is an intent to cause public health harm.

(Source: ISO focus July-Aug 2016 edition page 12)