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In response to many questions posted in the chat of the Webinar on the Global Honey Supply Chain that took place on 19 January 2022, the page on the Government Chemist website has been updated with work in progress on honey authenticity:

"This webinar and the consequent e-seminar is part of a suite of activities Defra, FSA, FSS and the Government Chemist are jointly working on to address some of the underpinning scientific issues that have emerged on the subject of honey testing and a number of workstreams are in progress.

Two further e-seminars, which will assist in disseminating information on honey authenticity testing, are in production. These cover using NMR testing for the determination of exogenous sugars in honey and best practice in establishing and curating databases for food authenticity. Work is also underway to develop guidance on applying a weight of evidence approach for food authenticity analysis, to pilot accreditation of non-targeted authenticity testing methods, to improve consistency and confidence in testing and reporting and to explore a data trust framework to share information on the honey supply chain and testing between interested communities. This will be followed by activity to standardise a protocol for the collection of authentic honey samples and to establish a framework for the scrutiny of authenticity databases. We are collaborating with key stakeholders on all these initiatives to secure the best outcome for all.

FSA’s blog on the complexities of honey authenticity, includes links to the recently published Government Chemist independent review of methods for honey authenticity testing and of the analytical reports underpinning recent allegations of honey fraud."

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The guidance for food business operators and their employees is aimed to assist all food businesses in following government guidance on infection prevention and control measures against COVID-19.

Scottish Government requirements to close restaurants, cafes and public houses to prevent the spread of COVID-19 has led many of these businesses to offer new take-away or delivery services to their customers. The closure of many catering businesses has also resulted in increased demand for existing take-away businesses.  In recognition of the challenges faced by small businesses in the food take-away sector we have produced a practical guide to help them communicate consistently to their customers, including model notices that can be used to maintain social distancing requirements at their premises.

The guidance is being continually reviewed and will be updated to reflect developments so please refer to the FSS website for their latest advice.

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3843236670?profile=RESIZE_710xFIIN was established in 2015, in response to the Elliott Review on the horsemeat incident, with the aim of ensuring the integrity of food supply chains through the collection, analysis and sharing of intelligence. It has more than doubled its membership from the original 21 members when it was established. Since reporting first commenced, FIIN has collated over 250,000 product authenticity test results, which have been analysed and disseminated between members to provide valuable insight and intelligence. 25% of the current membership represents companies with a turnover of £100 million or less, who greatly benefit from this pooling of combined resources and data. The Network has also signed agreements with Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the Food Standards Agency's (FSA) National Food Crime Unit, and Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) to establish two-way pipelines of information exchange. Prof. Chris Elliott (photo) is a FIIN board member and independent advisor, and states that “food crime is an ongoing and rising threat, but in my opinion the UK is now the best-placed country in the world to fight back".  

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The BBC have obtained the results of meat testing carried out in 2017 by local authorities in Scotland in restaurants, supermarkets and manufacturers from Food Standards Scotland (FSS). In total 631 samples were tested and 48 samples (less than 8%) were found to contain DNA of other species not labelled or described on the product. Many of these were considered as cross contamination rather than substitution. However, there were some notable exceptions: such as restaurants serving lamb dishes which were beef, and a restaurant serving beef in oyster sause which was pork. The results differed from those reported by FSA (see 12 September News), which were more targeted on high risk businesses.

  Read the article here

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