The controversial ‘horsemeat scandal’ might be last year’s news but according to recent research, the aftermath is still well and truly in play. Studies commissioned by Hanover Communications and conducted by Populus revealed that 56% of British adults fear similar food related scandals will arise in the future, 47% believe food standards have dropped in recent years while 52% expressed suspicion over lesser known brands.
A couple of weeks ago it was reported that Nordic Ingredients, a Danish company, got shut down by officials after it was revealed food was being prepared in a builder’s cement mixer. What’s more disturbing is the company was supplying food to at least a dozen hospitals and nursing homes in the country.
The Danish Food and Veterinary Administration shut down the company after discovering the food was being produced in an orange cement mixer just like bricklayers use. It didn’t appear to have been cleaned in between uses, and hygiene levels at the facility were also found to be ‘abysmal.’
“It wasn’t just a bit of mess from the most recent production, and we determined that the cleaning standards were completely inadequate,” “It was an orange cement mixer just like bricklayers use. There were layers from previous uses, where bacteria and other micro-organisms can easily hide,” said Henriette Mynster, Danish Food and Veterinary Administration official.
Nordic Ingredients produced foods such as rye bread, jelly and meat flavoured powders and supplied them to several facilities including major hospitals. Many of them claimed not to know that the company was not registered with the proper authorities.
This shocking case highlights the growing need to vet and audit your suppliers on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the food industry is a breeding ground for cowboys and fraudsters, and many of them don’t get found out for years. To protect standards and brand reputation, it is vital you know exactly where your ingredients are coming from, and that they come from a transparent food chain.
Although this company was based in Denmark, scandals such as this can occur at home and abroad. With many products and ingredients imported from abroad anyway, it is important to be able to trust your suppliers. Supplier risk assessments and supplier auditing are processes you can’t afford to skip – and QADEX software makes it so much easier and more effective. With specific modules designed especially for retailers and manufacturers, businesses can control self-assessment, certification management and even audit extended supply chains.