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Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondFood integrity is about consumers having trust and confidence in the food they eat.

Skip to 0 minutes and 9 secondsThe term food integrity has a global perspective on food issues from the soil to the plate.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 secondsThe term goes well beyond food safety in capturing aspects of how food is produced.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 secondsQuestions surrounding food integrity issues include, is the food safe? Is it organic? Is it fair trade? Was the welfare of the animals respected?

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsAnd is it authentic?

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 secondsFood safety issues are caused by the contamination of foods from either chemical compounds, microbiological, or process contamination.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 secondsFood safety issues can be caused by accidental or deliberate contamination with chemical compounds.

Skip to 1 minute and 8 secondsChemical contamination can occur during crop production, animal production, or through processing and transportation of food.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 secondsExamples of accidental chemical contamination that can happen during crop production include natural threats, contamination with threats from nature, such as fungal toxins called mycotoxins.

Skip to 1 minute and 37 secondsMan-made chemicals, contamination with threats from man-made chemicals such as pesticides.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 secondsExamples of contamination that can happen during animal production include natural threats, contamination with threats from nature, such as dioxins. Man-made chemicals, contamination with threats from man-made chemicals such as antibiotics.

Skip to 2 minutes and 7 secondsContamination can also occur during the processing and transportation of foods. Examples include natural threats, contamination with threats from nature, fungal toxins such as mycotoxins.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 secondsMan-made chemicals, contamination with threats from man-made chemicals such as mineral oils.

Skip to 2 minutes and 32 secondsFood safety issues can also be caused by deliberate contamination of foods with chemical compounds.

Skip to 2 minutes and 40 secondsThis is also known as food fraud.

Skip to 2 minutes and 45 secondsThe mechanisms for food fraud include substitution, where an ingredient is replaced with another. Addition, where substances are added to the food. Geographic, where false claims of location of origin are made.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 secondsExamples of food fraud include melamine in baby milk, addition fraud. Sudan dyes in spices, addition fraud. Fruit juices, addition fraud. Meat fraud, substitution fraud. Honey fraud, substitution and geographic.

Skip to 3 minutes and 35 secondsThe Chinese baby milk scandal of 2008 involved the addition of melamine to milk products to increase the protein levels.

Skip to 3 minutes and 44 secondsThis resulted in the deaths of six babies, and the hospitalisation of a further 860, but it affected an estimated 330,000 children. Sudan dyes are sometimes added to spices to enhance the red colour. However, Sudan dyes are classified as potentially carcinogenic, group three. The health risk may be low, but these dyes are not approved for use in food, and the addition of these chemicals to food is illegal.

Skip to 4 minutes and 18 secondsFruit juices. Fruit juice products often contain unlisted additional juices in the ingredients, with apple juice being the source for most juice products, despite the juice type advertised on the label.

Skip to 4 minutes and 35 secondsMeat fraud. A common addition fraud with meat is the substitution of the advertised meat source with a cheaper alternative. For example, horse meat in beef burgers, haddock used in fish products advertised as cod, or even rat meat in lamb products in China.

Skip to 4 minutes and 57 secondsHoney is subjected to substitution and geographic fraud. Pollen is often removed or incorrectly labelled. With reported cases of honey laundering, the country of origin marked on the label may also not be the actual source of the honey. An example of food fraud issue is the exposure of honey laundering, where the biggest honey supplier to the US admitted laundering and mislabeling Chinese honey. The impacts of contamination, accidental and deliberate, include human illness, loss of consumer trust, loss of revenue for bona fide producers and nations, political impacts.

Skip to 5 minutes and 48 secondsFair trade is a tool for reducing poverty in developing nations.

Skip to 5 minutes and 54 secondsIt's a form of trade that builds equitable and long term partnerships between producers in developing regions of the world, and consumers in the north.

Skip to 6 minutes and 5 secondsFair trade guarantees many things, including that producers receive a minimum set price for their goods, financial and technical support, healthy and safe working conditions, economic development of their communities.

Skip to 6 minutes and 25 secondsThrough fair trade, consumers receive excellent products, plus the peace of mind that comes from knowing they are actively addressing poverty, preserving the environment.

Skip to 6 minutes and 38 secondsThe Soil Association's definition of organic food is "food which is produced using environmentally and animal friendly farming methods on organic farms." These methods are legally defined, and any food sold as organic must be strictly regulated.

Skip to 6 minutes and 59 secondsThe basics of organic food is produce that is grown without any sort of man-made substances being poured over it, around it, or even inserted under it.

Skip to 7 minutes and 11 secondsThe condition for the growing of the organic matter is that it has to be composed of 100% natural environment.

Skip to 7 minutes and 21 secondsIn countries around the world, the demand for animal protein inexorably rises as the level of development increases.

Skip to 7 minutes and 30 secondsAnimal welfare concerns also garner more attention as consumers recognise the links between animal health and animal welfare, and animal welfare and human well being.

Skip to 7 minutes and 44 secondsThe challenge is to increase food animal production while simultaneously ensuring good animal welfare.

Skip to 7 minutes and 52 secondsA final question is whether the food is authentic.

Skip to 7 minutes and 58 secondsIs it really what it says it is on the label?

Skip to 8 minutes and 4 secondsBy definition, authentic means having a claimed and verifiable origin, not counterfeit or copied.

Skip to 8 minutes and 14 secondsThe impact of food integrity issues is a global issue.

Food integrity and safety

The horse meat scandal in 2013 brought the issue of food fraud to our attention. However, how can we be sure that what we are consuming is what we think it is?

For example, research carried out by Which? (2014) found that whiting, a much cheaper fish, was being sold as cod or haddock and lamb kebabs contained other meat alternatives with little or no lamb. Whilst these examples may not make us ill it does effect our confidence in the food we buy.

The term food integrity has global perspective on food issues - from soil to plate. It goes beyond food safety in capturing aspects of how food is produced.

This video will look at food integrity in more detail.

Food security is about ensuring that we, as consumers, have trust and confidence in the food that we all eat.

  • As a consumer do you have concerns about the food you eat?

  • Are there any particular food commodities which you are particularly concerned about in this respect?

To support the learning about food integrity, some useful reading has also been provided in the downloads section below.

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This video is from the free online course:

Tackling Global Food Safety

Queen's University Belfast