The first person to be sentenced connected to the horsemeat scandal could face two years in prison after admitting to criminal charges in January. Peter Boddy, the boss of a slaughterhouse where 17 horse carcasses were found, faces a jail sentence for failing to abide by the EU’s meat traceability regulations. In another food fraud case, a company director has also been convicted and imprisoned for replacing sea bass with a cheaper oriental perch, then forging an email confirming it was the same fish.
The FSA and other industry leaders have welcomed these convictions, as a step in the right direction for tackling food fraud in the national and global supply chain. Food fraud costs UK food and drink companies £11bn annually, and the horsemeat scandal was a multi-million pound deception. Food safety software company QADEX welcomes the prosecutions but is not certain it will lower levels of food fraud.
Tracey Cranney, Operations Manager at QADEX, said, “Harsher punishment is absolutely necessary to deter criminals from targeting the food industry, so we welcome any jail sentences. These criminals have deliberately deceived retailers and consumers for their own gain, and actions like these tarnish the whole industry. It is vital that once identified these fraudsters can be prosecuted so the food industry is not seen as an easy target for criminals.”
The horsemeat scandal was first uncovered at the start of 2013, and two employees from Peter Boddy Licensed Slaughterhouse are due to be sentenced on March 28th 2015 in London. Since horsegate a multitude of other frauds have come to light. The company director of Michael Redhead Associates Limited had falsely described its fish product after it was discovered the type of fish could not legally be labelled as sea bass. He’d been providing his products to Iceland Foods and it is predicted around 390,000 falsely described products were sold nationally. Redhead now faces six months in prison and a £50,000 fine after pleading guilty to fraud.
Tracey added, “We’re yet to see the effect of these jail sentences on the lucrative food fraud industry – it still holds lighter punishment than other crimes so we’re not positive that criminals will be deterred. All food businesses need to be vigilant and only work with trusted and audited suppliers.”
QADEX software supports manufacturers, retailers and processors in all aspects of compliance and food safety. It efficiently audits suppliers and reduces the risk of fraudulent activity down the supply chain for food businesses. With automated reminders and certification checklists, food businesses can tackle food fraud head on enabling better brand protection.
To find out more about QADEX’s food safety software visit http://www.qadex.com/
About QADEX: Enabling step change improvement in food safety and brand protection, QADEX Vision brings every aspect of food safety, quality management systems, compliance, customers and new product development together in one simple dashboard.