Food Fraud Report #2 | MPI Food Protection Forum (NZ)

October 14, 2015


In this second issue of the Food Fraud Report Australia New Zealand, you will find a summary of the excellent Ministry of Primary Industries Food Protection Forum held in Auckland 12 October 2015. The Forum brought together leading international food safety culture and behavioural science thinkers, industry leaders and researchers to discuss food protection. As the challenges to a safe supply of food are forever increasing in this global food supply ‘maze’, enhancing our approaches to policy and strategy are required in response.

  • The forum focused on the importance of a food safety culture and food defense systems – including food fraud – in protecting New Zealand’s economy, reputation and consumers globally: ‘A strong food safety culture and food defence system require input from government, industry and consumers.’

  • Line-up of international speakers and attendance by industry leaders.

  • Strongest themes throughout the Forum: Human Behaviour and Food Safety ‘Culture’.

  • The importance of government, industry and academia partnerships were emphasised in response to the challenges facing a safe food supply.

  • Chinese VP CFDA delivered a presentation on recent changes to China’s new Food Safety Laws

  • Minister of Primary Industries gave a great speech on the value of the food system in NZ, commitments to safety etc.

  • MC: Scott Gallacher, DDG MPI, Regulation and Assurance.

  • Chair of panel sessions: John Keogh

  • MPI has indicated it will provide video recordings of all plenaries and speakers in due course. I highly recommend you keep an eye out for these; it was an incredibly fresh approach to discussing all types of hazards to a safe food supply without limiting the scope to physical, chemical or microbiological threats.

Salient points from industry/academic speakers

Frank Yiannas – Vice President of Food Safety and Health, Walmart

Frank Yiannas is the Past President of the International Association for Food Protection and author of ‘Food Safety Culture, Creating a Behaviour-based Food Safety Management System’. VP of Walmart – Food Safety

  • Foster food safety cultures and human behavior

  • Food safety (‘pathogens’) = behavior

  • Culture can be measured and is often a better indicator of the standard of food safety than compliance audits, inspections etc

  • Bill Marler (US food borne illness lawyer): food safety is all about culture

  • A Food Safety Program is not enough. It is all about a Food Safety Culture.

  • 5 step process:

    • Create food safety expectations

    • Educate and train – real stories, NOT statistics

    • Communication

    • Establish compliance goals and measurements

    • Consequences for food safety behavior

  • Need more tools than training, inspection and tests. Been doing that for years and still have outbreaks. We must influence human behavior to control food safety.

Professor Alan Reilly – former Chief Executive of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland

Professor Alan Reilly was the CEO of the FSAI when horse meat discovered in beef products. The discovery led to the largest ever food fraud scandal in the EU.

  • Initiated the authenticity meat speciation tests on beef products sold in Ireland. “Stubbled upon it”

  • First tests: 4.66% of processed ‘beef’ was horse. One product was 70% beef.

  • In the investigation, it became apparent that at least one company had received horse meat and returned it to a supplier. Insight into absence of system to report such activity to government.

  • It is not a “global food supply chain” but a “Global Food Maze”.

  • Shared experiences – being prepared for food crisis is half the battle.

  • “Consumers must always be number 1”

  • All businesses involved in the horsemeat scandal had been audited to private standards without detecting the substitution. Over 700 brands involved.

  • Now FSAI Food Fraud Taskforce,


    • Membership:

      • Sea Fisheries Protection Authority

      • Customs &am