Food may be accidentally or deliberately contaminated by microbiological, chemical or physical hazards. In contrast to microbiologically caused foodborne illness, the link between exposure and effect of chemical hazards in foods is usually complicated by cumulative low doses and the delay between exposure and the onset of symptoms. Chemical hazards include environmental contaminants, food ingredients (such as iodine), heavy metals, mycotoxins, natural toxins, improper storage, processing contaminants, and veterinary medicines. Incidents have occurred because of poor harvesting or storage of grain, use of banned veterinary products, industrial discharges, human error and deliberate adulteration and fraud.
An "incident" of chemical food contamination may be defined as an episodic occurrence of adverse health effects in humans (or animals that might be consumed by humans) following high exposure to particular chemicals, or instances where episodically high concentrations of chemical hazards were detected in the food chain and traced back to a particular event.
Information on the impacts of these incidents is fragmentary and unsystematic, ranging from thousands of dollars to meet the cost of monitoring analysis, to many millions of dollars due to court prosecutions, bankruptcy, product disposal, compensation for revenue loss, damage to brand or reputation, or loss of life.
In 2013, Professor Chris Elliott, Professor of Food Safety and Director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen's University Belfast, was asked by the UK's Secretaries of State for Defra and Health to undertake a review of the weaknesses within UK food supply networks and to suggest measures which might be taken to address these issues. After an interim report was published in December 2013, his final report was published in July 2014, recommending that the UK adopt a National Food Crime Prevention Framework.
His 8 recommendations, or "eight pillars of food integrity", provided for:
An industry source in Rome said he doubts that any of the polluted wine has reached the United States. The Italian Wine and Food Institute, which represents Italian wine exporters in New York, was quoted here as saying that all Italian wine shipped to the United States is subjected to strict quality control in order to win the Italian government's seal of approval. Italy ships more wine to the United States than any other wine-producing nation, but most of its wine exports go to France and Germany, in that order, much of it in bulk for use in cutting domestic wines with higher-alcohol Italian varieties. It is far worse in scale than the scandal that virtually eliminated Austrian wines from the market last year. Some Austrian wine makers were found to have added ethylene glycol, a toxic, sweetening element, to their wines, and the discovery wiped out export sales. Ethylene glycol is also used in antifreeze. There were no known fatalities from the tainted Austrian wine.
It is well within the reach of most white-collar criminals to assume an air of irreproachable virtue, especially when they're about to be sentenced. But there was something unusually compelling about the bearing of Niels L. Hoyvald and John F. Lavery as they stood before Judge Thomas C. Platt of the United States District Court in Brooklyn last month – especially in light of what they were being sentenced for. As president and vice president of the Beech-Nut Nutrition Corporation, Hoyvald and Lavery had sold millions of bottles of apple juice that they knew to contain little or no apple juice at all – only sugars, water, flavoring and coloring. The consumers of this bogus product were babies.
... Wishaw butcher John Barr was in disgrace last night after a sheriff ruled that his deliberate deception of environmental health officers may have caused every death from E-coli in the world's worst-ever outbreak.
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