Food Fraud Vulnerability assessment: reliable data sources and effective assessment approaches

Soon, Jan Mei orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0488-1434 (2019) Food Fraud Vulnerability assessment: reliable data sources and effective assessment approaches. Trends in food science and technology, 91 . pp. 159-168. ISSN 0924-2244

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Background: Multiple food fraud vulnerability assessment (FFVA) tools have been developed and refined to capture and quantify food fraud issues in the supply chain.

Scope and approach: The aim of this research is to review existing FFVA tools and the databases that underpin them and consider the challenges, limitations and opportunities in their use. The databases considered include: the Rapid Alert for Food and Feed Safety (RASFF) database, the Food Fraud Risk Information, Decernis Food Fraud Database, FoodSHIELD, and HorizonScan. Four FFVA tools, Safe Supply of Affordable Food Everywhere (SSAFE), the two Food Fraud Advisor’s vulnerability assessment tools and EMAlert, are also critiqued in this paper from the viewpoint of the tools available and their efficacy for food fraud vulnerability assessment.

Key findings and conclusion: There is a clear requirement for more industry level cohesiveness and consistency in how FFVA is undertaken to address both intrinsic and extrinsic food fraud vulnerability. FFVA tools differ from conventional purely food safety hazard analysis or risk assessment tools as FFVA also requires consideration of socio-economic factors, knowledge levels of organization, and understanding of criminal behavior. The challenge therefore is to develop FFVA tools further so that they support assessment of existing vulnerabilities and overcome knowledge gaps to then assist food supply chain professionals in understanding where and how fraud might occur, and the situational vulnerabilities for a given organisation or food supply chain so this intelligence will effectively inform the appropriate options for food fraud control and mitigation.

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