The recently-established a Food Fraud Task Force (FFTF) will strengthen the enforcement of Food Law, according to Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Chief Executive Professor Alan Reilly.

The Food Fraud Task Force (FFTF) consists of representatives from national agencies across different enforcement arms of the State. According to Reilly, the FFTF is an advisory group which acts as a coordination and networking group where intelligence and research can be shared at national and international level.

The work of the FFTF includes raising awareness, improving mechanisms for monitoring and surveillance and training of enforcement officers. The Special Investigation Unit and the Gardaí are part of the FFTF. The aim is to better coordinate the activities of all stakeholders to provide more enhanced levels of protection.

Reilly stressed that these new developments should strengthen the work of the considerable inspection and laboratory services already engaged in the enforcement of food law, whose work is coordinated and overseen by the FSAI through the service contract process.

“While official food control services are regrouping in response to the new threats to the food supply, the food industry has to do likewise and assess potential food fraud threats. Changes are already taking place.”

He added: “Over the past year, retailers and the meat processing sector introduced meat speciation testing for all processed meat products as part of their routine food safety management programmes.
“This is a welcome development. The industry also needs to ensure the validity of information provided on labels and for guaranteeing the authenticity of ingredients used in the manufacture of foods.”