What is food crime?
Food crime can involve selling counterfeit products, falsely using the identity of an established business to sell food and drink, or selling food after its use-by date has passed. Animal welfare is carefully regulated in Scotland – some food crime involves slaughtering animals in conditions which don’t meet our strict hygiene and welfare standards, or poaching wild animals and selling them on for consumption.
Reporting food crime
If you think there’s a problem with food you’ve been offered, or if you work within the food and drink sector and want to report a concern, you can either:
Any information you give will be treated in confidence and you won’t have to give your name if you don’t want to.
There are three main types of food fraud:
Food that could harm us
This includes food that’s sold after it’s use-by date or meat that hasn’t been slaughtered in hygienic conditions.
Food that isn’t what it claims to be
This could involve substituting cheap ingredients for more expensive ones – for example, saying a product contains wild salmon when it actually contains farmed salmon. Or it could involve making false claims, such as saying a product is vegetarian when it contains meat products
Stolen or illegally slaughtered food
In Scotland, livestock is slaughtered under carefully controlled and monitored conditions. It’s illegal to poach wild animals like deer and then sell them on.
If you think you’ve bought or eaten food or drink that breaks the law, or if you work in the food and drink industry and think there’s a problem, you can report it anonymously.