The Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) issued its first direct compliance requirements for food fraud on January 1, 2018. Since that time, the program has evolved, including the emergence of countermeasures and a growing awareness of gaps in the requirements.
As auditors and inspectors become increasingly familiar with the myriad issues surrounding food fraud, it is expected that future audits will become more comprehensive, which will lead to more non-conformances. Now is an opportune time for a gap analysis on compliance confidence.
A new survey from the Food Fraud Prevention Think Tank addresses understanding on several subjects: “What is food fraud?”, “How can fraud be detected?”, and the practical steps of “What to do?” and “How much fraud prevention is enough?” The survey focuses on the evolving compliance requirements and effective best practices.
Addressing food fraud is a requirement for the GFSI-endorsed food safety standards such as Food Safety System Certification (FSSC), International Featured Standard (IFS), Safe Quality Food (SQF), and the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety (BRC), as well as for food laws such as the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act (FDCA).
Preliminary results from the Food Fraud Prevention Think Tank’s pilot survey appear to reveal a high level of compliance and confidence. The ten core gap analysis questions expand on the previous seven questions presented in the Food Fraud Audit Guide massive open online course. The survey results will be updated and analyzed as responses are received. A review (see Figure 1; click to enlarge) on July 5, 2019 revealed:
- Compliance: Only 75 percent average confidence of compliance with Food Safety Management System requirements
- Incident review method: Only 58 percent average confidence in methods to identify and assess new food fraud incidents
- Executive approval: Only 67 percent average confidence in approval by an executive or senior officer, meaning that many activities have not been presented to or approved by senior management.
From the pilot survey results, it appears that companies are making significant strides toward addressing food fraud, although major concerns exist about the level of confidence in the programs.
To help identify the additional steps that need to be taken to increase company confidence in food fraud prevention and mitigation programs, please take the Food Fraud Prevention Think Tank’s gap survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FFAUcomp2021v3
The survey responses are completely anonymous, with no identifiers of any kind collected.