Selvarani Elahi's Posts (304)

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11419833068?profile=RESIZE_710xButcher issued with suspended sentence in court.

A butcher who was found guilty in court in 2021 for selling poor quality chicken has been issued with a suspended prison sentence and told he can’t work in the food industry anymore.

During a routine inspection of Barking Halal Meat & Fish in August 2019, officers from Barking and Dagenham Council found a number of breaches of food hygiene rules which presented a risk to customers and their health.

The owner of the business, Mr Azar Irshad was initially summoned to court in September 2021, however he failed to attend. In his absence, the judge fined the company £40,000 plus £5,075 in costs to be paid to Barking and Dagenham Council and a Victim Surcharge of £170. In addition, a warrant had been issued for Mr Irshad’s arrest since February 2020.

During the inspection in 2018, council officers were offered bribes and fake receipts were also provided in an attempt to legitimise the supply chain.

Police finally caught up with Mr Irshad and he attended Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday 24 March where he was sentenced to prison for 39 weeks suspended for 18 months, 200 hours of unpaid work and costs of £2,400. He also received a Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from working in the food industry.

Read full article here.


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11036926093?profile=RESIZE_710xIf you are a food business and have a measurement issue that you'd like to resolve then why not apply and see if you can get the nation's top measurement laboratories on the case?

Over 90% of businesses completing an A4I Project have reported business growth due to increased productivity, and over 60% saw their competitiveness improved in their markets.

You can find out more about how we support UK
companies through the A4I programme here, and for information about the Programme and how to apply, please visit                                             
Start your application here!                                        
Competition opened on Monday 24 April

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e-seminar: Testing for CBD in novel foods

This presentation by Tabatha Hambidge (Research Scientist at the National Measurement Laboratory, LGC) provides an overview of the analysis of novel foods for the presence of CBD, which covers:

  • What is CBD?
  • How is CBD obtained?
  • How does CBD differ from other cannabinoids that are controlled?
  • How can we test for the presence of CBD in food supplements and other consumer products?

The e-seminar is intended for individuals working in laboratories that are testing CBD, the food industry and those involved with the UK official control system.

The production of this e-seminar was co-funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Defra, the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS via the Government Chemist, under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis.

This e-seminar has also been added to the Training section of this website.

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The term Point of Contact (POC) testing relates to a mode of analytical testing that can be conducted at the point of sampling, with a minimal requirement for analyst training, providing easily interpreted results in real-time.

This e-seminar provides an overview of POC testing, describes the range of analytical techniques that have been adopted, and lists examples of current and emerging devices for use with POC testing; It has been added to the e-seminars part of the Training section.

The e-seminar is intended for individuals working in academia, the food industry and those involved with the UK official control system.

The production of this e-seminar was funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, BEIS, via the Government Chemist, under the Joint Knowledge Transfer Framework for Food Standards and Food Safety Analysis. Cofunding was provided by the Scottish Government's National Transition Training Fund programme in collaboration with the Manufacturing Skills Academy at the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland.

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Goodbye and Hello!

11021372071?profile=RESIZE_400xSince our inception in July 2015, we have been fortunate to have had Dr Mark Woolfe as our Secretary.

Mark has had a long and distinguished career applying science to Government food policy. He represented the UK in negotiations on EU food law and implementation into national food law ,and also in international food standards on numerous EU, BSI, CEN and Codex Alimentarius Committees. Mark was Head of the Food Authenticity Programme at the Food Standards Agency and was responsible for the creation of the food authenticity programme, which developed state of the art methods to authenticate food, enforce food standards legislation and prevent food fraud.

Mark has decided that it is time to retire from his role as Secretary of the Food Authenticity Network (FAN). I want to thank Mark sincerely for his hard work and dedication that have helped make FAN the success it is today. Although Mark is leaving the Secretary role, I am delighted to announce that he will remain part of the FAN team, becoming our Chief Scientific Advisor from 1 April 2023.

The new FAN Secretary from 1 April 2023 will be John Points. John’s background is as an analytical chemist and he has been working in the food measurement arena for over 30 years. John is an independent consultant advising food businesses on identification and mitigation of fraud and authenticity risks. John is the Chair of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) Scientific Committee, a member of the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) Food Interest Group and is listed on the Food Standards Agency’s Register of Specialists for topics relating to food authenticity testing.

I look forward to working with John as our Secretary.

Selvarani Elahi

Executive Director, Food Authenticity Network

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The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture assists Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA in using nuclear techniques and related technologies to improve food security, alleviate poverty and promote sustainable agriculture. The Joint Centre consists of five Sections, each with an associated laboratory (located in Seibersdorf, 45 km south-east of Vienna), in the areas of: animal production and health; plant breeding and genetics; insect pest control; soil and water management and crop nutrition; and food and environmental protection.

The Food Safety and Control Section and Laboratory assist Member States in ensuring the safety and quality of food and agricultural commodities through the development of analytical techniques and application of food irradiation, focusing on the use of nuclear and related technologies in the management of food and environmental hazards and on strengthening capacities for nuclear emergency preparedness and response in agriculture.

Main Purpose

As member of a team reporting to the Director of the Joint FAO/IAEA Centre, the Section Head ensures that the activities of the Food Safety and Control Section and its laboratory contribute to the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme relating to the improvement of food safety and quality and increased international food trade through the use of nuclear and related techniques, as well as preparedness and response to nuclear emergencies and radiological events affecting food and agriculture.


The Section Head is:

1) a team leader, ensuring the efficient and effective management of assigned staff, physical and financial resources in line with quality management standards and a results-based approach;

2) a technical leader, leading a multidisciplinary team in the Section focused on ensuring the efficient and effective planning, development and implementation of programmatic activities, capacity building, technical support, policy advice for Member States, and information exchange as it relates to the Joint FAO/IAEA programme, and;

3) a technical officer, evaluating and providing technical management for technical cooperation (TC) projects, and providing technical support to coordinated research projects (CRPs) in the area of food safety & quality control.

Closing Date: 2023-04-27, 11:59:00 PM

Visit here for further information and to apply.

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11021365458?profile=RESIZE_710xLabelling can help consumers make informed, healthy and sustainable food choices.

The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) publishes the results of a scientific study related to food information to consumers on origin labelling.

The European Commission will use the findings of these studies as input for a proposal to revise the EU rules on the information provided to consumers as part of the EU’s ‘Farm-to-Fork’ Strategy and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan.

The scientists reviewed the literature on the impact of origin information of food products on purchase decisions and consumption. They looked into how and why consumers use, understand, and are influenced by origin information, coming to the following conclusions:

  • Information about both country of origin and place or region of origin has a substantial influence on consumers’ food choices.
  • Consumers attach importance to origin information as:
    1. a cue to good quality and environmentally friendly products;
    2. on average they like to support their local or domestic farmers and food industry.
  • Consumers report (in surveys) that they attach importance to origin information. However, when actually shopping, they may focus less on origin information than they would like to (because of time pressure, the attractiveness of brands etc.).

Read the full report: Consumer understanding of origin labelling on food packaging and its impact on consumer product evaluation and choices: A systematic literature review.


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This Technical Report presents challenges, opportunities and good practice examples in relation to the implementation of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2017 on official controls and other official activities performed to ensure the application of food and feed law, rules on animal health and welfare, plant health and plant protection products.

Competent authorities of the Member States are required to not only detect violations of the rules governing the agri-food chain but also to identify possible intentional violations of those rules, perpetrated through fraudulent or deceptive practices by operators for the purpose of gaining an undue advantage.

Between 2020 and 2022 a series of pilot and fact-finding studies of eight Member States were carried out with the aim to identify good practice examples and challenges Member State authorities face with the implementation of fraud related controls. The results of these fact-finding studies form the basis of this report. The reports of the six fact findings studies have also been published:

The report states that as fraud is driven by opportunity and motivation, detecting fraud requires good knowledge about the sector, the fraud risks and the way fraudsters operate. 

The report advocates a risk-based approach based on a vulnerability assessment. The best approach to risk-based planning will differ between authorities, control areas and Member States, but the risk-based planning should be based on a vulnerability assessment. A fraud risk assessment should be tailored to the control areas for which the competent authority is responsible. The report acknowledges that a one-size-fits-all solution across all sectors does not exist and provides key considerations for undertaking vulnerability assessments.

Furthermore, the use of mechanisms for the exchange of information between competent authorities on suspicions of fraudulent practices and criminal investigations (fraud part of iRASFF, Secure Information Exchange Network Application - SIENA, etc.) is crucial.

The purpose of this technical report therefore is to promote the uniform interpretation and application of the provisions of Article 9(2) of Regulation (EU) 2017/625


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11005123687?profile=RESIZE_710xDo you have an authenticity database or datasets?

The Food Authenticity Network (FAN) is undertaking a project on ‘Open Data’ funded by its Government Partners, which seeks to collate of list of organisations that have food authenticity datasets i.e. assessed foods or beverages against a reference database of authentic samples. This could be any analytical, physical or sensory testing technique, or combination of techniques, that matches against patterns of multivariate data.

We are interested to know about both proprietary in-house reference databases and uses of shared data sets. We would like to include both laboratories offering a current testing service and research groups and others who hold data from previous projects.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If you have, or use, reference datasets for an “authentic” food or beverage and are willing for this to be signposted on the FAN website then please contact:

Thank you

Food Authenticity Network Executive Team

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11001991485?profile=RESIZE_710xToday, the European Commission has published the results of the EU-wide coordinated action “From the Hives” on honey contaminated with sugars.

These investigations aimed to put a stop to operators voluntarily placing contaminated honey onto the EU market and sanction them accordingly if needed. Of the 320 samples taken at EU borders and analysed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), 147 (46%) were suspected of being non-compliant.

This suspicion rate was considerably higher in comparison to an earlier EU-wide coordinated control plan conducted in 2015-17, where 14% of the analysed samples did not comply with established benchmark criteria to assess honey authenticity.

However, the JRC applied a different set of methods, with improved detection capability, throughout the current exercise, which may explain this contrast.

For more information:

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Most adulterated foods - 2022 data added

"Which foods are most adulterated?" is a question that the Food Authenticity Network is frequently asked, so we are delighted to be continuing to collaborate with FoodChain ID to provide this information. 

Foods most reported as being fraudulent based on data from the FoodChain ID Food Fraud Database, are posted on an annual basis in the Food Fraud Prevention section of the Food Authenticity Network website.

The 2022 data has just been added to the 'Most adulterated foods' section.

























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The Consumer Insights tracker provides up-to-date findings each month on consumer behaviour and attitudes in relation to the following topics:

  • Food insecurity (including food affordability)
  • Food availability 
  • Consumer concerns in relation to food
  • Confidence in the food supply chain and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) as a regulator

This monthly bulletin summaries the key findings for each of these topics from wave 18 of the survey (conducted 13 – 15 January 2023).

Key Findings

Food Affordability and Food Insecurity

  • 15% of participants reported that they had used a food bank or food charity at least once in the last month. 
  • 25% of participants reported that they had skipped a meal or cut down the size of their meals because they did not have enough money to buy food in the last month.
  • 29% of participants reported feeling worried about being able to afford food in the next month.
  • 81% of participants reported feeling concerned about food prices. 
  • 69% of participants reported that their shopping had ‘got more expensive’ in the past week. 

Food Availability

  • 30% of participants reported feeling worried about there not being enough food available for them/their household to buy in the next month.

Food Safety Behaviours to reduce energy bills

  • 16% of participants turned off a fridge and/or freezer containing food 
  • 24% of participants changed the settings on their fridge and/or freezer so that food is kept at a warmer temperature 
  • 25% of participants lowered the cooking temperature for food 
  • 27% of participants reduced the length of time that food is cooked for 
  • 60% of participants used cheaper cooking methods (e.g., using a microwave, air fryer or slow cooker) instead of an oven to heat or cook food .

Concerns about the Food Industry

  • 54% of participants reported feeling concerned about the healthiness of the food in their personal diet. 
  • 56% of participants reported feeling concerned about animal welfare in the food industry. 
  • 56% of participants reported feeling concerned about sustainability/the impact of food production on the environment. 
  • 38% of participants felt concerned about the safety of food produced in the UK, compared to 50% who felt concerned about the safety of food imported from outside the UK.
  • 40% of participants felt concerned about the quality of food produced in the UK, compared to 50% who felt concerned about the quality of food imported from outside the UK.

Confidence in the Food Supply Chain

The proportion of participants who reported that they were ‘confident’ in the food supply chain was 65% in January 2023. This is in line with the previous month (65%, December 2022), but is significantly lower than the year prior (70%, January 2022).

  • 76% of participants felt confident that those involved in the food supply chain in the UK ensure that food is safe to eat. 
  • 70% of participants felt confident that those involved in the food supply chain in the UK ensure food is of a high quality. 
  • 52% of participants felt confident that those involved in the food supply chain in the UK ensure that there are affordable food options for everyone. 
  • 66% felt confident that those involved in the food supply chain in the UK ensure there is enough food available for people to eat. 

Monthly data tables are available to download via the FSA’s data catalogue. Tracker bulletins dating back to April 2022 are available to view via the Consumer insights tracker webpage. More detailed commentary, and timeseries analysis is published periodically on the Consumer Insights tracker webpage.  

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10951670268?profile=RESIZE_710xThe Food Authenticity Network has worked with Defra, FSA, FSS, NFCU, SFCIU and the Food Authenticity Centres of Expertise to agree a framework for a co-ordinated response from food authenticity Centres of Expertise to national / international food and feed fraud incidents / investigations.

Official controls of food and feed labelling and compositional standards involves the verification of labelled product information and requires a wide range of analytical and molecular biological techniques to be deployed, many with exacting instrumentation requirements and in-depth scientific interpretation of the datasets generated. In recognition that no single institution could field the complete range of such techniques with the required expertise in all of the food and feed commodity groups, a number of Food Authenticity Centres of Expertise (CoEs) have been acknowledged (see below for list and further information). 

It was envisaged that the virtual network of  CoEs would function in a similar way to a National Reference Laboratory by helping to ensure that authenticity testing methods employed are fit for purpose and offer expert advice to the food authenticity analytical community as required. 

A framework has been produced for collaboration of Food Authenticity Centres of Expertise to facilitate the formulation a collective technical view, in response to a request from UK Government, during an emergency food or feed fraud incident/investigation. A collective technical view will facilitate UK Government in making evidence-based decisions in a timely manner so as to minimise the impact on legitimate businesses and protect consumers.

The Framework is not a public document but the process flow diagram is presented above to illustrate the process agreed. An accessible version is available here.

The Framework flow chart and the accessible version have also been added to the CoE page on this network.

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10944116089?profile=RESIZE_400xThe Food Authenticity Network is pleased to announce that the four FOOD AUTHENTICITY trademarks shown are now UK registered trademarks of LGC.

The trademarks cover Services undertaken in:

  • Class 41 - “Education; providing of training; entertainment; sporting and cultural activities; organising webinars; arranging and conducting of educational discussion groups; arranging and conducting conferences, seminars, workshops, and meetings.”
  • Class 42 - “Scientific and technological services and research and design relating thereto; industrial analysis and research services; design and development of computer hardware and software.”
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10943952272?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Food Authenticity Network is delighted to have been interviewed by Nick Hughes and be featured in this article in The Grocer that marks the tenth anniversary of the 2013 horsemeat issue, which rocked the food industry world-wide.

A decade on, there is widespread recognition that much of this trust has been rebuilt. Yet as we move into 2023, experts warn that a new perfect storm of factors is creating an ideal set of conditions for fraudsters to exploit. 

On the tenth anniversary of one of the industry’s darkest episodes, it’s timely to ask the question: is our food chain any safer from the risk of fraud?

“We have many more lines of defence [now],” says Emily Miles, CEO of the Food Standards Agency. “But that doesn’t mean there couldn’t be another scandal [like horsemeat].”

Read the full article.

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10914584678?profile=RESIZE_584xThe Innovate UK programme Analysis for Innovators (A4I) is a very different type of programme from Innovate UK. It is focused on helping individual companies to solve tricky and, perhaps, long running technical challenges, affecting existing processes, products, or services. A4I works with companies from sectors ranging from healthcare to the food and cosmetics sectors.

The National Measurement Laboratory (NML) is a founding partner of the A4I Programme and is the UK’s designated institute for chemical and bio-measurement, supporting the work of the Government Chemist.

Through A4I, we provide companies with access to our state-of-the-art measurement and analytical capabilities, helping them address problems and challenges in innovative ways, boosting their competitiveness and productivity. Other partners include, National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the National Engineering Laboratory (NEL), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Advanced Sustainable Manufacturing TechnologiesHenry Royce InstituteNational Gear Metrology LabNational Institute for Biological Standards and ControlNewton Gateway to Mathematics

If you are new to the Programme we encourage you to watch the online A4I briefing here

Analysis for Innovators (A4I) Round 9 – Stage 1

Opens: 07/11/2022 Closes: 04/01/2023

Do you have a question for the NML? email us here

For more information about the Programme and how to apply, please visit the A4I website



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FoodBioSystems Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) brings together six university partners: University of Reading, Cranfield University, University of Surrey, Queen’s University Belfast, Aberystwyth University, and Brunel University London.

Project title: Developing next-generation portable rapid tests for food authenticity
Project No: FBS2023-08-Campbell-qr
Lead supervisor: Katrina Campbell, Institute for Global Food Security, Queen's University Belfast
Alexander Edwards, University of Reading, Adrian Rogers, Bio-Check (UK)

Deadline for applications: Monday 30 January at 10.00 am (GMT)

The aim of this PhD is to develop a simple effective diagnostic test for the simultaneous multiplex analysis of different animal species for example cow, sheep, porcine, turkey, chicken, equine, donkey and goat that can be used for field-based analysis.

The student will explore the feasibility of adapting current lateral flow immunoassays using several recent developments including, for example:

  • improved fluidic configurations;
  • smartphone readout using bespoke low-cost illumination systems;
  • multiplexing using different combinations of microfluidics.

These innovations will be explored alongside biorecognition element design and assay development for the industrially- and public safety-driven targets.
The PhD conducted mainly at Queen's University Belfast will offer placements at Reading University for biotechnology design and is supported by an industrial partner BIO-CHECK UK who will bring further insight into practical constraints of cost-effective mass-manufacture, marketing and basic business skills for the student.

By applying analytical science to this specific problem, the student will be able to systematically optimise assay performance, at the same time as recognising the pathway to real product development through industrial oversight.

Further information can be found here

For more information about DTP, the selection process and what its like to be a DTP student, join their Applicant Webinar on 11 January 2023 (17:00 GMT). Please complete the registration form if you would like to attend.

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