A new Scottish Food Crime and Incident Unit (SFCIU) is to be set up by Food Standards Scotland (FSS) to tackle food fraud.
The move, taken in the wake of the 2013 horsemeat incident, was described by FSS chief executive, Geoff Ogle, as a “vital and positive step” in improving Scotland’s capability and capacity in relation to tackling food crime.
“Information sharing remains critical to unearthing and dealing with food fraud,” said Mr Ogle, adding that FSS will continue to work closely on food fraud issues with a number of partners both in Scotland and across the UK, including Police Scotland, local authorities, the Food Standards Agency, and the food industry itself.
The development was also welcomed by Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment, Richard Lochhead, who said that the new unit “sends out a clear message that food crime will not be tolerated in this country”.
“FSS will now have specific expertise to tackle food fraud and I welcome the progress made in putting this important resource in place,” said Mr Lochhead. “This should help to reassure consumers the length and breadth of Scotland that our food is safer than ever.”