The Food Fraud Task Force (FFTF) presented an update on its work at the Food Standards Agency‘s Board meeting on 7 December.

FFTF chairman, Philip Barlow, warned in the group’s first interim report that “it should be recognised that to eliminate the practice totally is likely to be an impossibility”.

The FFTF was set up in April 2006. This interim report is the first of three to investigate the scale of food fraud in the UK and to propose changes to current penalties.

In the report, Dr Barlow said: “The best that can be hoped for is to recommend systems and practices that make it as difficult as possible for fraudulent traders to operate.”

Currently the FFTF has not discovered any issues that need early action and it does not have any recommendations. But it identified a few areas for further consideration which included improving information sharing between enforcement agencies and destroying identification marks on food containers to prevent re-use or human food.

The final report is due in Oct 2007.