From food defence to food supply chain integrity

Davidson, Rebecca K.
Antunes, Wilson
Madslien, Elisabeth Henie
Belenguer, José
Gerevini, Marco
Torroba Perez, Tomas
Prugger, Raffaello
Davidson, Rebecca K.; Antunes, Wilson; Madslien, Elisabeth Henie; Belenguer, José; Gerevini, Marco; Torroba Perez, Tomas; Prugger, Raffaello. From food defence to food supply chain integrity. British Food Journal 2017 ;Volum 119.(1) s. 52-66
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Purpose Consumer confidence in the European food industry has been shaken by a number of recent scandals due to food fraud and accidental contamination, reminding the authors that deliberate incidents can occur. Food defence methods aim to prevent or mitigate deliberate attacks on the food supply chain but are not a legal requirement. The purpose of this paper is to discuss how proactive and reactive food defence practices can help prevent or mitigate malicious attacks on the food chain and also food fraud, food crime and food safety. The authors look at how food defence differs from food safety and how it contributes to food supply chain integrity. Design/methodology/approach Food defence has been the focus of two different EU FP7 security projects, EDEN and SNIFFER. Food industry stakeholders participated in workshops and demonstrations on food defence and relevant technology was tested in different food production scenarios. Findings Food industry end-users reported a lack of knowledge regarding food defence practices. They wished for further guidelines and training on risk assessment as well as access to validated test methods. Novel detection tools and methods showed promise with authentication, identification, measurement, assessment and control at multiple levels of the food supply chain prior to distribution and retail. Practical implications The prevention of a contamination incident, prior to retail, costs less than dealing with a large foodborne disease outbreak. Food defence should therefore be integral to food supply chain integrity and not just an afterthought in the wake of an incident. Originality/value It is argued that food defence practices have a vital role to play across the board in unintentional and intentional food contamination incidents. The application of these methods can help ensure food supply chain integrity.
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