Taking Food Safety Training? Learn How Misleading Labels Can Lead to Food Fraud

Food fraud is a reasonable concern for anyone in the food industry. Through food safety training, you can learn how to look out for errors that could lead to the misrepresentation of food to help protect the public. Food fraud affects the consumer, the industry, and individual companies, and each of these entities plays a role in the impact of food fraud.

At AAPS, you can advance your food safety training expertise with a diploma in Food and Edible Technology, Safety and Quality. Over the course of 48 weeks, you will cover fundamentals of quality assurance, cleaning and sanitation methods, food and edible chemistry, and more, which all contribute to the avoidance of food fraud. Continue reading to learn more about this topic.

Characteristics of Food Fraud for Food Safety Training

According to the Journal of Food Science, food fraud is an intentional and deliberate alteration or misrepresentation of any type of food, food packaging, or food ingredients for economic gain. During food safety training, you will complete a course on food fraud as you earn your diploma. A few topics you can expect to cover in this course include:

  • Concepts of food fraud
  • Monitoring techniques 
  • Vulnerability assessments
  • Mitigation strategies
  • How to implement product safety management systems and more.

As you unveil more about the dangers of food fraud and how it can happen, you’ll come closer to being able to protect against this issue.

The Scope of the Current Issue of Food Fraud

Food fraud happens throughout North America and worldwide and may even be on the rise, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Both large-scale and small-scale food fraud incidents commonly occur, and most have to do with the mislabeling of foods that make it to grocery stores. Whether by accident or for monetary gain, mislabeling foods is dangerous and can have extreme repercussions. For example, allergens and sensitivities that are not listed on food labels can cause individual harm to consumers. The foods most commonly documented for food fraud include:

  • Seafood
  • Meat
  • Honey
  • Grains and oilseeds
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Produce

Food fraud can affect any aspect of the supply chain, from the production to the importation or exportation of ingredients and goods to the authenticity of the certification and, ultimately, the consumer’s purchasing of the fraudulent product. Food fraud directly affects food safety, making the expertise you’ll acquire in a food safety program essential for protecting the public.

Food safety training can help you spot food fraud and protect consumers.


Challenges to Detecting and Preventing Food Fraud

It is especially hard for consumers to know if they are victims of food fraud. When looking at a label, most people hope it to be accurate and truthful. However, many people are skeptical of labels due to the prevalence of food fraud.

A major challenge of detecting and preventing food fraud is that there are several ways this issue can occur. Common food fraud incidents include the substitution of one product with another of different quality, the dilution of a product with another that is not listed on the label, the labelling of a product as something it is not, and falsified and misleading labelling with untrue claims. With so many ways food fraud can happen, the challenge is detecting and preventing each method.

Challenges arise when trying to address all forms of food fraud.

Opportunities to Combat Food Fraud

In the food safety industry, professionals can combat food fraud in various ways. As you complete your program, you’ll learn how to conduct a documented food/edible fraud vulnerability assessment (FFVA) and develop mitigation strategies to protect against food fraud.

Food safety professionals have the technology and skills needed to detect and prevent food fraud.

The industry also uses various techniques to detect food fraud that are scientifically proven and advanced methods, such as microscopy, isotope analysis, chromatography, molecular tools, and more. Technological advancements provide great opportunities for industries worldwide to fight food fraud for public protection.


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