Food fraud, also known as the intentional adulteration of food for economic gain, is described as a criminal act that in some cases can have a significant impact on consumers, honest producers and societies. The perpetrators utilize loopholes in the surveillance, investigation, enforcement and prosecution of food fraud. A recent publication describes the anatomy of eight example food fraud scandals in the UK to enable investigators to understand, track and prosecute complex fraud cases more efficiently.
Seafood is a never-ending target for defrauding restaurant and store customers. At an Italian restaurant chain in the UK, a lobster and king prawn dish contained more than one-third white fish in addition to other filler ingredients to lower cost. The dish was shaped to represent lobster meat. No health or safety issues were reported, however, this is yet another example where significantly cheaper ingredients were used to defraud customers. The company made almost $4 million in revenue over the course of several years from this dish alone.
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